WHA Applauds Supreme Court Decision to Uphold Insurance Help

Mary Kay Grasmick, 608-274-1820, 608-575-7516

MADISON (June 25, 2015)
 MADISON (June 25, 2015) -----The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold premium subsidies in states that are utilizing the federally-run insurance marketplace was good news for Wisconsin residents.

“We are pleased with this decision, which means 166,000 people in Wisconsin will not lose the tax credits that help them afford health insurance coverage,” said WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding. “The loss of premium assistance would most certainly have triggered a large increase in the number of uninsured. The disruption to our health care system and broader insurance markets would have been substantial.” Borgerding said thousands of people in Wisconsin who were previously uninsured, or who were made ineligible for Medicaid, connected with health insurance coverage on the federal exchange, also known as Healthcare Marketplace. The subsidies reduced the monthly cost of buying insurance on the exchange to an average of $125 per month in Wisconsin.

“The King v. Burwell case has created much uncertainty for health care providers, insurers and consumers,” Borgerding said. “Hospitals and health systems across the state have worked hard to assist individuals in connecting with coverage on the exchange. We are pleased the high court’s decision provides a level of assurance to our members and their patients who have access to some of the highest quality patient care in the nation.”

Without the premium subsidies, a significant portion of Wisconsin’s strategy for reducing the number of uninsured would have been dismantled. Absent a legislative fix at either the federal or state level, thousands of people could have become uninsured. That’s the exact opposite of what Gov. Scott Walker and Wisconsin lawmakers intended when they adopted a hybrid approach to coverage expansion in 2013. That plan included expanding Medicaid eligibility for those below 100 percent FPL ($11,670/year), and eliminating Medicaid eligibility for those above 100 percent FPL. Under Wisconsin’s plan, the 60,000 people who lost their Medicaid coverage would be able to purchase low-cost, subsidized health coverage on the exchange. And today, they still can.