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Thursday, 05 March 2015 11:59

Supreme Court Hears ACA Subsidy Challenge

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In a much watched case, the Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday about a provision that could eliminate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual market premium assistance, depending on how it is interpreted by the Court.  This would affect the roughly 70% of states who have not established their own exchange; please note that Colorado is NOT one of the states affected. The provision relates to language in the ACA that indicates subsidies for low-income individuals are available on “Exchanges established by the states.”  The debate is between a literal reading of that language, or looking at the larger context of what Congress intended.


A ruling is not expected until late June, but expert opinion appears to be leaning slightly in favor of predictions that the Supreme Court will uphold the subsidies as currently implemented.  If it goes the other way, an estimated 7.5 million Americans in those states who did not choose to set up their own Exchange will lose access to subsidized coverage.  If too many of them choose to not purchase coverage as a result, it will likely raise premiums for those remaining, and may destabilize the individual insurance marketplaces in those states.


Keep in mind there is NO impact on insurance in Colorado, regardless of the outcome of the case.

Read 5073 times Last modified on Monday, 14 September 2020 20:19
Kristen Russell

Kristen founded Fall River Employee Benefits as the culmination of her insurance industry career as an actuary, underwriting executive & consultant. As an Assistant Vice President at Great-West Healthcare (now part of CIGNA), she managed a $1 Billion block of health insurance. She also worked as a Senior Consultant at Reden & Anders, consulting to insurance companies and large employers throughout the country. Ms. Russell received a Bachelor of Science, Business Administration in Actuarial Science, is a member of the American Academy of Actuaries and achieved Fellowship in the Society of Actuaries through a rigorous nine-year series of exams.

Kristen grew up in Iowa but has lived in Colorado since 1993, currently living near our office in the Lower Highlands neighborhood near downtown Denver.  She enjoys bicycling, hiking, traveling and has a special passion for non-profit volunteering. She is married to an incredibly talented photojournalist, has two adult stepdaughters and an adorable Border Collie/Lab mix named Chaco.