Governor Janet Mills today welcomed a proposal from the Biden Administration to fix the longstanding so-called “family glitch” in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The proposed fix would expand health insurance coverage to an estimated 200,000 uninsured Americans, including 34,000 people in Maine, and lower health insurance costs for nearly one million more Americans.
“This proposed fix would extend affordable health coverage to an estimated 34,000 people in Maine – a welcome development as we continue our work to expand access to health care in Maine,” said Governor Janet Mills. “Having health insurance saves lives, keeps people healthy, reduces costs to families, and keeps people working and contributing to our economy. This fix is good for the health of Maine people and the health of our economy.”
Since taking office, Governor Mills has:
- Preserved ACA protections for Maine people, including those with pre-existing conditions;
- Expanded health care to more than 90,000 people through MaineCare expansion;
- Launched CoverME.gov, Maine’s new Health Insurance Marketplace, with more than 66,000 Maine people selecting plans for 2022, an increase of more than 10 percent over the previous year, reversing several years of decline in Marketplace enrollment;
- Cut Maine’s uninsured rate to 5.1 percent, below the national average;
- Lowered health care costs for nearly 6,000 small businesses and over 47,000 of their employees and families;
- Expanded access to dental care, reproductive health care, and more.
According to the Biden Administration, under the ACA, people who do not have access to “affordable” health insurance through their jobs may qualify for a premium tax credit to purchase affordable, high-quality coverage on the ACA’s health insurance Marketplaces.
Current regulations define employer-based health insurance as “affordable” if the coverage solely for the employee, and not for family members, is affordable. Family members, however, are ineligible for a premium tax credit even if the family share of employer health insurance is exorbitant.
The “family glitch” affects about 5 million people and has made it impossible for many families to access the premium tax credit to purchase an affordable, high-quality Marketplace plan.
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service have proposed to eliminate the “family glitch.” Should today’s proposed rule be finalized, family members of workers who need affordable coverage will have that option through Maine’s Health Insurance Marketplace, called CoverME.gov.