Problems in the commercial health insurance market may be overwhelming the ability of the Affordable Care Act premium tax credit program to help middle-income people stay covered.
Analysts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have published data on middle-income U.S. residents’ declining use of private major medical insurance, and rising uninsurance rates, in a new batch of National Health Interview Survey data.
The report covers survey results collected during the first half of 2017. A copy of the full report is available here.
The ACA provides premium tax credit subsidies, but not cost-sharing reduction subsidies, for people with income from 250% to 400% of the federal poverty. Those people often must pay substantially more than $100 per month out of pocket for individual major medical coverage purchased through the ACA public exchange system.
For U.S. adults who were ages 18 to 64 during the survey period, with income in that 250% to 400% of federal poverty level category, the percentage with private health coverage fell to 76.5% in the first half of 2017, from 78.3% in the first half of 2016.
For the adults in that difficult age and income category, the percentage who were completely uninsured jumped to 12.2%, from 10.2%.
Adults with income in the 250% to 400% of federal poverty level category suffered a bigger increase in uninsurance, year-over-year, than people in any other income category.
During the first half of this year, the overall uninsured rate for all U.S. residents held steady at 9%.