Health insurance not affordable for many under Affordable Care Act
For many younger adults, the penalty for not buying health insurance may be less than the price of the least expensive plan available under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a study being published in Annals of Internal Medicine
The ACA aims to expand health care coverage in part by providing subsidies to individuals with low annual incomes. The law mandates that individuals purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. The penalty is waived if the cost of the least-expensive plan available is greater than 8 percent of an individual’s income. Researchers assessed marketplace affordability for all health plans offered in every county in the United States after accounting for income-based subsidies. They found that, even with subsidies, many individuals lack access to an affordable plan. Younger adults who are eligible for subsidies may be more likely than older adults to remain uninsured because premium costs were often much higher than the cost of paying a penalty for not buying insurance.