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Senate Democrats Pass Extended Health Insurance Subsidies For Millions of Americans

Credit: iStock

Anzhe Zhang

The Inflation Reduction Act, which critically includes a set of extensions towards health care subsidies put in place in 2021 to 2022 under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was passed by the Senate last Sunday, with no support from Senator Ron Johnson or his Republican colleagues. The bill is set for approval from the House before it can be signed by President Biden.

If passed by the House, the bill would extend health insurance subsidies for nearly 13 million people enrolled and would last until the end of 2025, helping millions avert a major premium increase.

An extension of health insurance subsidies outlined within the bill saw overwhelming support from voters earlier this year, according to polls, which reported that the issue of ACA subsidies mattered to 90 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, for some Americans, the extension of these subsidies are the only thing keeping their premiums from seeing an over 50 percent increase – an increase of hundreds of dollars a month.

“Without the extension, the vast majority of the 13 million people who get subsidies […] would see premium payments rise,” Krutika Amin, associate director at Kaiser Family Foundation’s ACA program, said.

For example, a person making $50,000 could see their premium payments rise from $400 to $900 per month without the extension of these subsidies.

The extension keeps in place the temporary changes made under the American Rescue Plan Act which removed the previous income cap that prevented people from qualifying for ACA coverage. It also maintains the premium cost limit of 8.5 percent of a person’s income.

A recent survey reported that over 71 percent of voters said extending ACA subsidies was important upon learning that they were set to expire at the end of the year, signaling that health insurance cost is a matter that crosses the political divide for many Americans.