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The Government of the United States announced this Tuesday a plan with which it hopes to achieve that 200,000 inhabitants of the country get health coverage for the first time and that another million people pay less for their health insurance.
The Treasury Department made the announcement hours before US President Joe Biden participates in an event at the White House with former President Barack Obama (2009-2017) to celebrate the impact of the 2010 health reform, known as Obamacare. .
“This is the most significant step that has been taken to improve the implementation of the law since the legislation was first introduced,” said a US official, who requested anonymity, in a telephone press conference.
In the US there is no public health system and half of the population has access to private health insurance thanks to their employer, while the rest either have no coverage or purchase it through a low-cost insurance marketplace created under Obamacare.
That law currently allows more than 31 million people to have access to lower-cost health coverage.
Treasury announcement seeks to fix so-called “family glitch” in Obamacare systemwhich affects many Americans who have their partners, children or other relatives included in their health insurance plan provided by their companies.
Under the current system, Americans can switch to health insurance from the Obamacare Marketplace and receive financial help buying it if their employer requires them to spend more than 10% of their income on their health coverage.
However, that 10% is calculated based solely on the cost of the employee’s coverage, and not the premiums needed to cover any of their dependents.
That “may mean that families end up spending 25% or 30% of their income” in the private medical insurance they obtain through their work and who still do not have access to financial aid under Obamacare, explained the aforementioned US official.
Treasury’s proposed new rule stipulates that if whole family health coverage costs more than 10% of your total household income, dependents of the employee providing that insurance will have a new option.
Those relatives of the employee will be able to receive “financial help” to purchase low-cost health insurance through the Obamacare marketplace, the source said.
Currently, this technical failure in the application of the law affects more than 5 million people, most of them minors, according to an analysis by the non-profit organization Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).
The White House calculates that part of them will not take advantage of the change in regulationswhich would take effect in 2023, among other reasons because they would prefer to keep the whole family in the same employer health insurance even if it costs more money.
However, his estimates suggest that “about 200,000 people will get health insurance for the first time, since now they do not have it because it is too expensive for them,” according to the aforementioned official.
In addition, about “a million people could switch from the coverage they have now to more affordable coverage” in the health insurance system created by Obamacare, he added.
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