National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) applauded the proposed rule to eliminate the so-called “family glitch” in the Affordable Care Act, which blocked 5 million Americans from receiving subsidies for insurance plans on the federal Marketplace.
Anyone whose job does not offer health insurance can shop for a plan on the Marketplace. People whose employer plan premiums cost roughly 10 percent or more of their household income can also receive subsidies if they opt to forgo the employer coverage and purchase a plan through the Marketplace.
However, when the IRS calculates how much of the household income the coverage would require, it only takes into account the cost of an individual plan and not the more costly family plan – aka, the “family glitch.”
“Families can spend, on average, three times as much on annual insurance premiums than an individual plan,” said Alan Balch, NPAF CEO. “As written, the family glitch was an oversight. In practice, though, it affected millions of Americans, keeping them uninsured or their premiums too high. The new rule will make navigating the system and understanding coverage options easier and more intuitive for families.”
According to the White House, 200,000 uninsured people would gain coverage through this rule change, while nearly 1 million Americans would see their coverage become more affordable.