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Whitmer and Fellow Governors Call on Congress to Lower Healthcare Costs
June 29, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2022
Gov. Whitmer, Fellow Governors Call on Congress to Lower Healthcare Costs
Governor calls on congressional leaders to make a healthcare subsidy expanded under the American Rescue Plan permanent, protect coverage for tens of thousands of Michiganders
LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer and thirteen other governors from across the country sent a letter to congressional leaders urging them to make permanent the advanced premium tax credits (APTCs) enacted in the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Getting this done would lower costs and protect healthcare for over 270,000 Michiganders.
“Right now, working families in Michigan and across the country are facing rising costs on groceries, gas, and other everyday expenses,” said Governor Whitmer. “That’s why I joined my fellow governors to urge congressional leaders to make the advanced premium tax credits in the American Rescue Plan permanent. Getting this done will lower costs and protect access to healthcare coverage for over 270,000 Michiganders. I am focused on growing our economy, creating good-paying jobs, and lowering costs for working families, and I urge congressional leaders to come together and get this done so we can protect healthcare coverage and lower costs for millions of Americans.”
The letter can be viewed here.
Impact on Michigan Healthcare
- According to projections from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 63,000 Michiganders would lose individual coverage and become uninsured, 31,000 would lose their subsidy but remain insured, and 177,000 would remain in the marketplace with reduced subsidy
- According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, estimated premium increases in Michigan for a 60-year-old couple making $75,000 would increase by nearly $11,000, and premiums for a family of four making $120,000 would increase by nearly $3,000 (this article also has a section that has nationwide averages, but the numbers certainly highlight the enormous cost increase this would have)
- According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average monthly premium in Michigan would increase by 39%, or $66. With the expanded tax credits, Michiganders paid on average $170 per month (or $2,040 for the year), but should the credit expire, Michiganders would pay on average $236 per month (or $2,832 for the year)
- According to the White House, more than 303,000 people enrolled in the marketplace with reduced health care costs, a 14% increase
Letter to Congressional Leaders
In their letter, the governors urged congressional leaders to ensure funding is in place to preserve Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies known as advanced premium tax credits (APTCs). The American Rescue Plan (ARP) expanded and enhanced APTCs. The ARP’s expansion of subsidies, along with bolstered marketing and enrollment support, led to a record 14.5 million people signing up for ACA coverage during the most recent open enrollment period, a 21% increase from the prior year.
The ARP has lowered costs for consumers: families saved an average of $200 a month in premiums, with 4 out of 5 consumers eligible to obtain a plan for $10 or less. The ARP expanded access to financial assistance and increased the number of consumers eligible for subsidies by 2.8 million in 2022 compared to the prior year.
The ARP-expanded subsidy eligibility is set to expire at the end of the current plan year, leaving consumers exposed to dramatic premium increases. The Biden Administration estimates that approximately 3.4 million consumers currently enrolled could lose coverage if the ARP subsidy expansions expire at the end of 2022. Without enhanced subsidies to ensure there are affordable marketplace options, those consumers are likely to become uninsured.