AARP is opposing the Republicans’ American Health Care Act bill, saying it could threaten the ability of 3.2 million older adults to pay for individual major medical coverage.
About 3.2 million adults ages 50 to 64 now use the Affordable Care Act premium tax credit subsidy program to buy health insurance.
The AHCA bill includes a proposal to increase the range between the premiums a health insurer can charge 64-year-olds and the premiums it can charge its youngest adult enrollees for the same coverage. The AHCA bill also includes a proposal to replace the current income-based premium tax credit with an age-based tax credit
Even though the AHCA tax credit would be adjusted by age, the proposal would raise significant concerns for older adults, says Susan Reinhard, a senior vice president at AARP.
“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,” Reinhard says. “These changes would put health insurance coverage out of reach for many older adults.”
The American Medical Association is also objecting to the age-based tax credit proposal. The AMA “cannot support the AHCA as it is currently written,” the group said in a letter sent to Congress March 8.