Bill allows those with subsidies on ACA exchange to buy any state-approved plan if they have zero exchange options in 2018, waives their individual mandate penalty
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 29 – Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today introduced legislation to rescue Americans with Affordable Care Act subsidies who have zero options for health insurance on the exchanges for the 2018 plan year.
“There are 34,000 Knoxville area residents who rely on an Affordable Care Act subsidy to purchase insurance, and after the one remaining insurer pulled out of the exchange for 2018, these subsidies are worth as much as bus tickets in a town with no buses running,” Alexander said. “There is also a real prospect that all 230,000 Tennesseans who buy insurance on the exchange—approximately 195,000 with a subsidy—won’t have any plans to buy next year either, and millions of Americans in other states are facing the same dire circumstances.”
He continued, “This legislation would help those in Knoxville and across the country by allowing any American who receives a subsidy and has no insurance available on their exchange next year to use that subsidy to buy any state-approved insurance off of the exchange. Second, the bill would waive the Affordable Care Act requirement that these Americans, who have zero insurance options with their subsides, have to pay a penalty for not purchasing insurance. And third, this legislation will help bring peace of mind between now and the beginning of next year to millions of Americans, some of the most vulnerable people in the country, who face having zero options of health insurance to purchase with their subsidy.”
“At some point, on behalf of the American people, Congress and the administration have to resolve the issues that are driving up health care costs, limiting choices, and causing the exchange market to spiral downward,” Corker said. “However, in the interim, we must take steps to ensure people in places like Knoxville, where more than 34,000 individuals receiving subsidies under current law will have zero options in 2018, have the opportunity to purchase health insurance off the exchange in the individual market.”
Specifically, the Health Care Options Act of 2017:
A full summary of the Health Care Options Act of 2017 is available HERE.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Taylor Haulsee, (202)-224-8816