CHA News Article

Issue Brief Explores Premiums Under Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act

The Kaiser Family Foundation has released a new issue brief analyzing how the recently introduced Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) would change the care people receive – and the amounts they pay for that care – under the Affordable Care Act. Under current law, premium tax credits are available to assist those with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) in paying premiums for coverage purchased through the federal or state marketplace. These credits vary with income, but, unlike premiums, do not vary with age – resulting in older people receiving larger premium tax credits than younger people with the same income. Beginning in 2020, the BCRA would revise income eligibility for premium tax credits, capping eligibility at 350 percent of the FPL and requiring that income percentages vary with age and with income.

As a result, people at younger ages would pay a lower share of their income than they do today for the same plan, while older people would pay a higher share. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation analysis, marketplace enrollees would pay an average of 74 percent more toward their premiums in 2020 under the BCRA than under current law. These results vary significantly by income, with those below 200 percent of the FPL seeing an average increase of 177 percent, while higher income enrollees would see an average increase of 57 percent.