Maine Writer

Its about people and issues I care about.

My Photo
Name:

I enjoy writing!

Friday, April 28, 2017

How Affordable Care Act helps low income with co-pays deductibles

A letter to the Editor in the Cincinnati Enquirer from Ariel Miller is a Kennedy Heights, Cincinnati, resident.

"As you can see from the above example, the law helps solve – not cause – that problem. If the president and House undercut the law by defunding the cost-sharing subsidies, millions of working Americans will no longer be able to afford to use the health care they need."
A constituent holds up signs calling for repair of
A constituent holds up signs calling for repair of the Affordable Care Act as U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., speaks.

House Republicans are suing to stop the federal government from paying subsidies that substantially cut the deductibles and out-of-pocket costs of 7 million low-wage Americans with Obamacare silver plans. 

Donald Trump, who promised to cover all Americans when he campaigned for president, threatens to join them in attacking these life-saving subsidies.

As a volunteer Certified Application Counselor in Cincinnati, I meet many working people who are able to get the care they need because of the cost-sharing these Republicans want to end. Here’s a real example of how much difference this makes.

Recently, I tried to help a home health aide who declined the insurance provided by her job because her share of the premiums – $1,040 – was too high for her to afford on her income of $17,599. The employer-provided plan had a deductible of $5,000. The out-of-pocket maximum was $6,500. Even after paying $1,040 in premiums, she wouldn’t have been able to afford to use this plan because of the huge deductible.

Here’s how a 63-year-old woman making $17,599 would benefit from the premium assistance and cost-sharing available through the least expensive Obamacare silver plan available here in Cincinnati:

Her annual premium: $582 (only $48.50 a month), compared to $1,040
Deductible: $500 (instead of $5,000)
Out-of-pocket maximum: $900 (instead of $6,500)

Senator Rob Portman constantly blames the Affordable Care Act for high deductibles and co-pays.

Unfortunately, the home health aide I met that day is not eligible for either premium assistance or cost-sharing held under the ACA because her employer offers insurance. The law was written thriftily to aid low-income people whose jobs don’t offer insurance.

Congress could improve the ACA and benefit millions.

Congress could help working Americans by allowing people whose wages are below 250 percent of the poverty level to shop on the marketplace to get premium assistance and cost-sharing even if their employer offers coverage. What’s the point of a plan you pay into but can’t afford to use?

Labels: ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home