Modifying the ACA's Family Subsidy Rules to Help Ensure Affordability


(The Commonwealth Fund Blog)

A man with his children in a doctor's waiting room

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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) aims to increase the number of Americans with health coverage by expanding access to Medicaid and establishing marketplaces where people can compare private plans and, if eligible, receive premium and cost-sharing subsidies. Partly to reduce the law's fiscal impact, the ACA encourages workers with access to employer-provided coverage to retain that coverage by restricting their eligibility for marketplace subsidies. This “affordability firewall” means that all members of a family are ineligible for subsidies if at least one member has access to employer-provided insurance in which his or her contribution for a single premium is less than 9.56 percent of household income....

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Amado Cordova is a senior engineer, Sarah Nowak is an associate physical scientist and Evan Saltzman is a project associate at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation.

This commentary originally appeared on The Commonwealth Fund Blog on January 11, 2016. Commentary gives RAND researchers a platform to convey insights based on their professional expertise and often on their peer-reviewed research and analysis.