Democrats in Congress have long been considering various proposals to enhance the ACA’s premium subsidies and make more robust coverage more affordable. Last month, Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) introduced the Health Care Affordability Act (H.R. 369) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) introduced the Health Care Improvement Act of 2021. Both bills include the basic health care provisions that President Biden has proposed as part of his American Recovery Plan.
One of the most important aspects of these pieces of legislation is a fundamental change in the formula for calculating premium subsidies. Under these bills, the subsidies would become more generous, allowing more Americans to purchase coverage with minimal or zero premiums, and capping premiums at no more than 8.5 percent of income, regardless of a household’s income. At ACA Signups, Charles Gaba has created graphics that will help you visualize after-subsidy premiums as a percentage of income under the status quo versus H.R. 369, as well as a previous piece of federal legislation and California’s state-based subsidy system.