Move to Fix “Family Glitch” in Affordable Care Act is a Welcome Step, Healthcare Leaders Say
HLC President Says Additional Actions are Necessary to Strengthen Health Coverage Accessibility
WASHINGTON – Regulatory action announced today by the Biden Administration to fix the so-called “family glitch” in the Affordable Care Act is a much-needed step to make health coverage more accessible for working families, the president of the Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC) said today.
Under the new rule, the cost of adding family members to an individual’s employer-sponsored health insurance plan will be considered when determining “affordability” and those who have to pay more than 10 percent of their income for coverage will be eligible for financial support.
“This action corrects one of the significant flaws in the Affordable Care Act. The system, before this regulatory move, had a built-in bias against family coverage because the cost of adding family members to a health plan did not lead to a commensurate adjustment in subsidy qualifications,” said HLC president Mary R. Grealy. “By taking this action, more American families will be able to afford the health insurance that they need.”
The Healthcare Leadership Council has been strongly advocating this correction to the “family glitch” and is recommending additional actions to improve the current health coverage system, including:
- Encouraging greater competition and more choices in the marketplace, with an emphasis on value-based insurance designs.
- Providing greater flexibility for high-deductible health plans to reimburse healthcare services needed to treat chronic health conditions before enrollees have met their deductible, allowing millions of Americans in plans linked to health savings accounts to better afford essential services.
- Allowing all catastrophic and bronze health plans to qualify as eligible for those with health savings accounts.
- Expanding Health Reimbursement Arrangements so they can be used to purchase short-term renewable health insurance plans.
- Providing regulatory relief to states so they can redirect subsidies according to the unique needs of their populations.
- Ensuring mass communications technologies can be used to help individuals enroll in coverage without violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
For Immediate Release
April 5, 2022
Contact: Kelly Fernandez 202-449-3452