Pennsylvania has federal approval to create its own insurance marketplace
The Supreme Court has yet not given their verdict on the King v. Burwell lawsuit — the decision is anticipated at the end of June — but some states are trying to be prepared for the worst case scenario in which millions of citizens lose their subsidies for health care coverage. Pennsylvania is among those states.
Two weeks ago, the Wolf administration announced it was submitting an application to set up a State-based Marketplace. On Monday, June 15, the federal government gave Pennsylvania its conditional approval to create an insurance marketplace starting next year.
This action is part of Governor Tom Wolf’s contingency plan. As Wolf pointed out in several statements, this authorization does not necessarily means Pennsylvania will create a State-based marketplace, but it is a way to be prepared in case the Supreme Court rules against subsidized coverage.
“I am pleased the federal government stands ready to allow Pennsylvania to move forward to protect 382,000 of our citizens from potentially losing subsidies that help them afford health care coverage,” Wolf said. “This conditional approval is another critical step in my contingency plan to set up a supported State Based Marketplace to ensure Pennsylvanians do not lose coverage in the event of an adverse Supreme Court ruling.”
Pennsylvania is not the only state to receive conditional approval for the application submitted. Delaware and Arkansas also have the federal government’s OK to move forward with a plan to try and prevent thousands of citizens from losing their health care coverage.
At the moment, just 13 states (and the District of Columbia) have their own marketplaces.
More than 6 million are at risk of losing their health care coverage
According to latest Kaiser Family Foundation study, there are 6,387,789 people at risk of losing federal tax credits to buy health insurance if Supreme Court ruling agrees with those challenging the subsidy in states without state-based marketplaces. In Pennsylvania, the estimated number of citizens who would lose their health coverage due to the unaffordable increase to the cost of their insurance plan is 348,823 people. In Delaware it would be 19,128 people, while in Arkansas 126,506 would be unable to afford their health insurance without the subsidies.
This study also shows that average premium coverage would increase by 287 percent if the tax credit were eliminated across the country. In Pennsylvania, the estimated increase would be 177 percent. However, in states like Mississippi there would be an increase of 650 percent.