SCOTUS Supports ACA with the Intent of the Law Decision
On June 25, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), by a 6-3 decision, ruled that the intent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was an appropriate interpretation of the legislation and upheld the legality of health insurance subsidies for individuals participating in federally-run insurance exchanges. With this ruling, all health insurance exchanges, including Missouri and Illinois, regardless of sponsorship or ownership, will be allowed to operate as intended providing the mechanism to sell health insurance and facilitate a tax credit as appropriate.
In the King v. Burwell case, the court entertained two interpretations of the legislation. At the heart of the matter are the four words “established by the State” to describe the appropriate path in which consumers can acquire affordable health insurance with federal subsidies. King, the plaintiff in this case, claimed that the legislation requires that only health insurance exchanges established by the state can facilitate the sale of health insurance and, when appropriate, implement the mechanism whereby those persons that qualify can receive a tax subsidy. The government, as defendants, claimed that the intent of the law was for any exchange that operated within a state to have the ability to facilitate the purchase of insurance and related tax subsidies.
In Missouri, more than 253,000 residents enrolled in health insurance through the federally run Missouri exchange in 2015. Reportedly, 88 percent of those enrolled qualified for premium tax credits. The average tax credits for Missouri residents enrolling through the exchange is approximately $281 per month.
If you have questions regarding Health Care Reform, please contact Ron Present, Partner and Health Care Industry Group Leader, at 314.983.1358 or firstname.lastname@example.org.