The latest legal attack on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has been decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. In KING v. BURWELL, plantiff’s argued that the plain language in PPACA says that Federal tax credits (subsidies to reduce premium) “shall be allowed” for any “applicable taxpayer,”26 U. S. C. §36B(a), but only if the taxpayer has enrolled in an insurance plan through “an Exchange established by the State”. They argued that tax credits for Federal Exchanges should not be allowed. Opponents of the PPACA hoped for a decision for King which would have destroyed the financial foundation and derailed the entire health care reform legislation.
The US Supreme Court decided the matter on June 25, 2015 in favor of Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services. The opinion, delivered by Justice Roberts, affirmed the government’s position and said “petitioners’ plain-meaning arguments are strong, but the Act’s context and structure compel the conclusion that Section 36B allows tax credits for insurance purchased on any Exchange created under the Act. Those credits are necessary for the Federal Exchanges to function like their State Exchange counterparts, and to avoid the type of calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid.”
WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU.
This means if you purchased an individual health plan through a Federal Exchange and received a tax credit subsidy you will still be able to receive this financial assistance to help pay for health insurance costs. American’s who purchased health insurance from State based exchanges, like those in Washington and Idaho, were not in jeapardy to lose their federal tax subsidies. Also, it should be noted that group insurance plans for small or large employers were not impacted in any way by this decision.
Source: United States Supreme Court, King v. Burwell Opinion
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