Gov. Wolf called on Congress to keep subsidies from the Affordable Care Act to ensure that health care remains accessible to tens of thousands of Pennsylvania residents

Gov. Tom Wolf is urging Congress to take action to maintain subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to ensure that individuals and families eligible for this important subsidy can continue to receive health care.

In a joint letter, Governor Wolf and 13 other governors called on Congress to take action and provide funding to maintain ACA subsidies, known as advanced tax credits.
(APTCs), which were expanded through the U.S. Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The eligibility for a subsidy extended by ARPA is expected to expire at the end of the current planning year, leaving consumers exposed to dramatic premium increases.

“Tens of thousands of Pennsylvania residents will be affected if this extension of the subsidy expires in December, which will mean that their insurance premiums will increase, exposing people to health and financial risk. “It is crucial that we continue to make available coverage as much as possible for as much as possible, and I applaud President Joe Biden for his leadership not only to expand coverage as part of ARPA, but to make it permanent,” said Governor Wolf. “I urge Congress to make these subsidies permanent so that Pennsylvania residents can continue to have a better quality of life through affordable full ACA coverage.”

Governor Wolf has made access to affordable health care a priority throughout his administration.

In July 2019, Governor Wolf signed legislation to create Pennie, the state market of the ACA. Pennie replaces as Pennsylvania’s official shopping destination for quality health insurance plans and the only source of financial assistance to support coverage and care costs. There are currently nearly 360,000 Pennie customers throughout the community.

In addition to Penny, Governor Wolf expanded Medicaid in 2015 – one of his first actions as governor – ensuring that more Pennsylvania residents have access to health care in Pennsylvania. Today, more than 3.3 million Pennsylvania residents are covered by medical care, including nearly 1 million people through enlargement. By expanding access to health care, the British community realized the lowest unsecured rate in Pennsylvania’s history during the Wolfe administration, and insurance rates are now the most stable of the year than ever.

See a copy of the letter:

As governors, we are working to expand access to quality and affordable health care for people in our states. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen the tragic impact of diseases and illnesses among the uninsured and under-insured, especially in colored communities and other unserved populations. As we experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, access to affordable health insurance can sometimes mean the difference between life or death. At a time when governments at all levels are struggling to find ways to cut spending on the American people, we cannot allow the looming specter of rising health care costs to cause more insecurity and stress for American families. We therefore urge you to take action and secure funding to maintain subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTCs).

We applaud Congress for passing the American Rescue Plan Act 2021 (ARP), which expanded and improved the ACA APTC. The expansion of ARP grants, along with the Biden administration’s investment in marketing and enrollment support, led to a record high of 14.5 million people who signed up for ACA coverage during the last open enrollment period, an increase of 21 percent compared to the previous year.

Health insurance is crucial to ensure that consumers have access to healthcare, and the best way to increase enrollment is to make coverage more accessible. ARP cut costs for consumers: families save an average of $ 200 a month in bonuses, with four out of five consumers eligible to receive a plan for $ 10 or less. ARP expanded access to financial assistance and increased the number of beneficiaries eligible for subsidies by 2.8 million in 2022 compared to the previous year3. a historic opportunity to build on these recording gains and accessibility improvements over the next and subsequent years.

Unfortunately, the eligibility for a subsidy extended by ARP expires at the end of the current planning year, leaving consumers exposed to dramatic premium increases and jeopardizing the progress we have made. As inflation continues to weigh on consumer budgets, we are concerned that many people will choose to cut health insurance or even be left without coverage if Congress does not take action. The Biden administration estimates that approximately 3.4 million users currently subscribed could lose coverage if the extension of ARP subsidies expires at the end of 2022. The expiration of increased subsidies would also lead to reduced enrollment and increased of premiums, destabilizing health insurance markets and affecting accessibility for the general population. In addition, as the public health emergency is expected to end in the coming months, some users will no longer be eligible for Medicaid, but may be eligible for ACA subsidies. Without increased subsidies to ensure that market options are available, these consumers are likely to become uninsured.

Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. ARP has significantly improved the availability of health insurance to ensure that life-saving health care is available to all Americans. We urge you to take immediate action to make extended ARP subsidies permanent in order to prevent catastrophic erosion of health insurance coverage.

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