TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — If the federal Premium Tax Credits expire due to legislative inaction in U.S. Congress, over half a million Floridians will lose their health insurance. The PTCs were set up through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which temporarily expanded eligibility to pay for health insurance through 2022.
So far, U.S. Congress efforts in the House and Senate have failed to finalize a plan to extend the PTC credits, putting over 3 million people at risk of losing their health care coverage, purchased through the market set up by the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
Of the 3.12 million across the U.S., based on estimates by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute, 513,000 of those who would lose their insurance are Florida residents. That’s 16% of Americans at risk of losing their health care coverage.
For Florida, the number of uninsured residents would grow by 24.8% according to the estimates in the study. It would also mean a more than $5 million drop in total spending on health care for nonelderly residents in the Sunshine State.
“States with the largest losses include non-expansion states such as Florida, Georgia, and Texas, which saw large enrollment growth in 2022 with the enhanced PTCs,” the analysis reported. By non-expansion state, the analysis refers to states which have not expanded access to Medicaid or Medicare.
Residents at highest risk for loss of coverage due to PTC expiration are those living below the federal poverty line. Americans who are currently eligible for free coverage on silver plans, the ones who live at 150% or below on the FPL, meaning individuals earning less than $20,385 per year, or a family of four with a household income of $41,625, would be required to pay premiums “an average of $457 per person per year.”
FamiliesUSA, a healthcare advocacy organization, said that should the PTC credits expire, premiums for American consumers will go up 53%. The average cost per person for premiums is currently $960, according to FamiliesUSA. They said if ARPA’s health provisions are not extended, Floridians could see their go up as much as 61%.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported 2.7 million Floridians currently get their health insurance from healthcare.gov, the insurance market created by the ACA, a 28% increase over 2021.
For Florida residents, FamiliesUSA said the cost for health insurance would increase by more than $1.6 billion in 2023.