With Assist From Health Plans, Biden Knocks Record Uninsured Rate Even Lower – Forbes

U.S. President Joe Biden (C) signs The Inflation Reduction Act with Senate Majority Leader Charles … [+] Schumer (D-NY) (L) and House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) in the State Dining Room of the White House August 16, 2022 in Washington, DC. The $737 billion bill focuses on climate change, lower health care costs and creating clean energy jobs by enacting a 15% corporate minimum tax, a 1-percent fee on stock buybacks and enhancing IRS enforcement. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
As health insurers expand Obamacare into more states and counties, look for the nation’s uninsured rate to fall to record lows.
Already, the national uninsured rate has reached a low of just 8% thanks in part to investments made by the Biden administration and Congress to bolster the Affordable Care Act and expand health insurance options to more Americans.
Now the Biden White House is “doubling down” with bigger investments and regulatory changes to improve enrollment into individual coverage known as Obamacare. Last month, the Biden administration announced an “historic investment of nearly $100 million” on “navigators” that help connect people to health coverage.
Furthermore, the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law last month by Biden extends subsidies for millions of Americans who buy Obamacare. These subsidies, which had been temporary since the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act last year, increased the financial assistance to those already eligible to buy health insurance under the ACA and also expanded such subsidies to even more largely middle class Americans who “were previously priced out of coverage,” a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis shows.
“With the Inflation Reduction Act now signed into law, an estimated 13 million people will continue to save an average of $800 per year on their Marketplace health insurance, continuing the savings consumers received during 2021 and 2022 from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan,” the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said last week.
Health insurance companies have responded by launching unprecedented expansions into new markets to sell Obamacare and related coverage under the ACA. For example, CVS Health said last month the company’s Aetna health insurance unit is obtaining final approvals to add four new states to its portfolio of individual health insurance options, bringing its total to 12 states and Cigna last week said it will expand its business of selling individual coverage under the ACA for 2023 by three new states to 16 in total for next year.
Other health insurance companies are also expected to soon announce expansions.
Health insurance companies that are expanding say their expansions should continue to reduce the ranks of the uninsured.
“By continuing to expand and enhance our individual and family plans, more people will have access to quality, affordable care that supports whole-person health,” Lisa Lough, president of Cigna’s Individual and Family Plans business said in announcing Cigna’s plans to expand Obamacare for the 2023 coverage year.

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