SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee hailed today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that allows all eligible people who purchase health insurance through the federal exchange to receive subsidies to help them pay for their coverage.
“The Supreme Court made the common sense ruling for a law that makes sense for millions of Americans,” Lee said. “This is a great day for millions of Americans who can afford health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act. With subsidies in place across the nation, those who now have health insurance — as well as those who still need it — can be confident that the options available to them will be within their reach.”
Although Covered California enrollees were not at risk of losing their subsidies as a result of the Supreme Court decision, a ruling invalidating subsidies offered through the federal health exchange could have resulted in changes to the federal law, which could have affected California.
“Covered California enrollees and anyone in our state who still needs health insurance should breathe easy knowing the Affordable Care Act is truly the law of the land and is here to stay,” Lee said. “This historic law is changing our health care system for the better, giving people access to the best doctors and hospitals in our state.”
Since opening its doors in January 2014, Covered California has helped provide health insurance to more than 1.8 million people. Covered California estimates that in 2014 it provided more than $5,200 in subsidies per household per year, or about $436 per month.
The total amount of subsidies, or Advanced Premium Tax Credits, was $3.2 billion paid to health insurance companies in 2014 on behalf of Covered California enrollees. Consumers themselves paid $1.1 billion toward those policies in 2014, meaning that for every dollar a subsidized Covered California consumer spent on premiums, the federal government paid another $3.
“Today the Supreme Court made the right decision,” Lee said. “With the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans join those with employer-based coverage in getting health insurance in part because of federal tax subsidies. The subsidies have helped millions of Americans, including individuals I have met whose lives were saved as a result of the care they received.”
With the support of federal subsidies, the majority of consumers enrolled with Covered California pay less than $150 per month for their premium, with many tens of thousands of consumers paying less than $10 per month for coverage.
Open enrollment for coverage starting Jan. 1, 2016, is scheduled to begin Nov. 1, 2015. Special enrollment for health coverage if an individual has a change in life circumstances, such as moving, having a baby or turning 26, continues year-round. Medi-Cal enrollment also continues year-round.
About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California, in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses can purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.
Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and the Legislature. For more information about Covered California, please visit www.CoveredCA.com.