What AARP says about the American Health Care Act

Written by Jessica Adkins

March 15, 2017

According to AARP, they have officially opposed the American Health Care Act bill, saying it could threaten the ability of 3.2 million older adults to pay for individual medical coverage. Those individuals (ages 50 – 64) now use the ACA premium tax credits, or subsidies, to purchase more affordable and credible health insurance.

The AHCA bill proposes to increase the range of the premiums an insurer can charge 64-year-olds and the premiums charged to its youngest adult enrollees for the same coverage. The AHCA bill also includes a replacement for the income-based credits with an age-based subsidy. Even though age would adjust this credit, cc, a senior vice president at AARP, claims it would raise significant concerns for older adults.

The tax credit proposal included in the American Health Care Act of 2017, as introduced on March 6, would provide substantially less assistance for lower- and moderate-income older adults, by as much as $5,900 for an individual,” Reinhard says. “Older persons would face larger reductions in tax credits than younger persons and, as proposed, the value of the proposed tax credits would erode over time,” says Reinhard. “These changes would put health insurance coverage out of reach for many older adults.”

Additionally, the American Medical Association has stated in a letter sent to Congress on March 8th, they “cannot support the AHCA as it is currently written.” The AMA is also objecting the age-base tax credit proposal. In the letter, the AMA writes they have “long supported advanceable, refundable tax credits as a preferred method for assisting individuals in obtaining private health care coverage. It is important, however, that some credits available to individuals are sufficient to enable one to afford quality coverage.”

AARP concluded in their study recently conducted; the ACA tax credits have contributed to a significant improvement in the uninsured rate for individuals age 50 – 64. The proposed replacement of tax credits and the AHCA would result in less financial security and premium assistance for those individuals with moderate to lower income over time. The redistribution of funds from lower- to higher- income adults could worsen disparities in access to healthcare.

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