In June, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the legality of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance subsidies, handing down a 6-3 decision against the plaintiff in King v. Burwell. The decision is a relief not only for the millions of Americans who relied on Obamacare subsidies to purchase ACA-compliant comprehensive health insurance, but for millions more who anticipated a huge disruption in the health insurance market.
The ruling means that more than 6 million consumers in the 34 states with federally operated health insurance marketplaces will not lose federal tax credits provided by the health reform law. Without those subsidies, most of those Americans would likely have had to give up coverage altogether. An estimated 87 percent of individuals who got their coverage through HealthCare.gov received subsidies.
The fight isn’t over
The decision upholding the legality of ACA’s subsidies doesn’t mean that the battle over Obamacare is over. Far from it, in fact.
Critics of the law continue to assail the law by working to repeal its provisions. Republicans in the U.S. House have voted to repeal both the ACA’s medical device tax and the Independent Payment Advisory Board that was created to control Medicare costs. And in July, Senate Republicans made an unsuccessful attempt repeal Obamacare entirely.
See how your elected officials voted on these pieces of health reform legislation. Then, contact your members of Congress and let them know how you feel about further attempts to weaken or entirely repeal the Affordable Care Act.
At the same time, Republican Presidential candidates have all pledged to repeal the ACA if elected.
Can you still buy Obamacare-compliant coverage?
Obamacare’s special enrollment extension ended in April and was the last opportunity for many Americans to enroll in an ACA-compliant health plan for 2015. (Obamacare open enrollment for 2016 coverage – effective January 1, 2016 – begins on November 1, 2015.)
But even if you still haven’t enrolled in a medical insurance plan for 2015, you may be able to buy an ACA-compliant major medical policy right now if you’ve had a qualifying event – a major life change that makes you eligible for a special enrollment period.
Even if you’re not eligible for a special enrollment period, you don’t have to wait for coverage until November (and we strongly advise that you don’t). This site can help you understand coverage options like short-term health plans. (A short-term policy can be considerably less expensive than a qualified health plan – and you can often get coverage within a day.)
Why you should pick up the phone
Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) we usually recommended people simply shop online. But today, with the complexities of premium subsidies, cost-sharing subsidies, penalties – and now qualifying events and special enrollment periods – it’s a smart move to talk to a licensed insurance agent who can help minimize your cost and maximize your benefits.
At healthinsurance.org, we don’t sell insurance, but we do partner with qualified call centers staffed with agents who are both licensed in your state and exchange certified. Visit your state page to find the telephone number for medical insurance professionals who can offer you free guidance, or call the general number at 1-866-414-0201.
These partnerships also allow us to deliver health insurance quotes quickly and easily. Simply enter your ZIP code to receive a family health insurance quote that will help pinpoint coverage that fits your needs.
Affordable, comprehensive health insurance
Since last year, an estimated 9.4 million Americans have enrolled in health insurance marketplace plans. At the same time, Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion has boosted the number of Medicaid enrollees to more than 7 million. What’s more, millions more Americans have enrolled in private health insurance plans outside the exchanges – or off exchange.
The health law’s critics continue to charge that Obamacare is driving up individual health insurance premiums and causing plan cancellations. But there’s plenty of evidence that for the first time, the law has allowed millions of Americans to find affordable medical insurance – thanks in part to generous subsidies – without fear of being excluded due to pre-existing conditions.
About us: your guide to family health insurance
Since 1994, healthinsurance.org has been a guide for consumers seeking straightforward explanations about the workings of individual health insurance – also known as medical insurance – and help finding affordable coverage.
The topic of insurance can be confusing, but we’re here with more information than ever: educational articles, expert health policy analysis, frequently asked questions about reform, a health insurance glossary, and guides to the healthcare marketplaces and other insurance resources in each state.
Don’t hesitate to let us know if you hit a snag in the process – or if you’re stumped by a question about health coverage. Of course, we’d also love to hear about your success in getting coverage and quality healthcare.