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Health News Headlines: ACA Subsidies

“This week a federal appeals court ruling threatened to make health insurance under the Affordable Care Act less affordable for many," reports Jill Ditmire.

Some people could lose the subsidies that help pay for their premiums. But that's unlikely says Dr. Aaron Carroll, a regular Sound Medicine contributor. 

"The Affordable Care Act has within it a clause which is unfortunately poorly worded. It basically says that subsidies can be given only to people who get insurance through state exchanges. And because a lot of the exchanges are now federal exchanges (maybe 36 to 38), these exchanges would not be qualified for a subsidy. So anyone who is in a state where their exchange is being run by the federal government, they could lose the subsidies that help them buy insurance."

Though some headlines called this a lethal blow for Obamacare, any impact from this ruling may come years from now, Dr. Carroll says.

“How will this affect people at a local level? Very little right now. How could this affect people in the future, if we saw worst-case scenario? Well, there are a lot of people who could stand to lose tax credits and insurance would come significantly more expensive for them. But there’s a number of things that would have to fall, a number of dominoes that would have to fall in succession….”