Court Ruling On Health Coverage Could Affect Illinois, Indiana
By Illinois Public Media, with additional reporting from The Associated Press and Indiana Public Broadcasting
Questions remain after Tuesday's contradictory rulings by two federal appeals courts over health insurance subsidies in three dozen states - including Illinois and Indiana.
One court said the federal government cannot offer the subsidies to people in states that use the federally-run insurance marketplace instead of their own, while another court said they could.
About 168,000 Illinois residents qualified for financial subsidies to help pay for their health insurance. According to the White House, policyholders will keep getting that help as the administration sorts out the legal implications.
Get Covered Illinois executive director Jennifer Koehler said the subsidies remain in effect. She said the state is monitoring the court decisions.
Speaking on Tuesday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said he stands by his decision not to run a state-based exchange
“A number of states across the country that set up their exchanges have abandoned them or begun to unwind them, so I think we made the right decision in that regard,” Pence said.
Pence said he has not read the court opinions and doesn’t want to comment on what the state might do if its citizens are left without the subsidies.
Indiana University professor William Popkin said invalidating the subsidies would have an enormous impact on Indiana’s low-income population, who would no longer be required to purchase health insurance under the law.
“Without the credit, it will be so expensive, given their income level, that they will not be faced with a penalty and the price of the insurance may dissuade them, discourage them from actually buying it,” Popkin said.
Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to take up the case, and until then the Obama administration said it will continue to provide the federal assistance.