How Biden's Plan To Fix Obamacare Could Affect Up To 5 Million Americans

The White House recently announced a new rule in a press statement that would eliminate a "family glitch" within the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also colloquially referred to as ObamaCare after former President Barack Obama, who signed the measure into law in 2010. The fix could affect up to 5 million Americans.

According to the press statement, the glitch is related to current regulations defining health insurance as "affordable" for an entire family if a member of that family is covered by employer-based health insurance. However, family members are not always able to afford the often expensive premiums of employer-based plans. The "family glitch" also makes family members ineligible for the premium tax credits to be able to afford health insurance through the Marketplace, leaving them at risk of not having health coverage. The White House states that eliminating this glitch will make the approximately 200,000 Americans who are currently caught in this situation eligible for premium tax credits to apply towards affordable health coverage.

If the new rule is finalized, the Treasury Department will allow family members of covered employees the same eligibility for premium tax credits as other people if the cost of their Marketplace health plan is more than 10% of their income (via NBC News).

How does the Marketplace work?

According to Healthline, the Health Insurance Marketplace or Exchange varies from state to state. It depends on whether the state has opted to create its own exchange or use the Federal exchange. In all instances, you can go to an exchange, register, fill out an application, shop for options, and purchase coverage.

Before you begin your application, be sure to calculate your annual household income. If you fall under a certain threshold, you may be eligible for Medicaid or a lower-cost plan. You also want to know your total income so you can assess how much you can afford to spend on premiums and co-pays each month. There are a variety of plan types, so consider your needs while reviewing your options. For instance, Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) may be more affordable, but you are required to see certain in-network doctors. You will also likely need to get a referral from your primary care doctor whenever you want to see a specialist. Another option is a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). A PPO allows more flexibility to see doctors outside of your network and does not require you to get a referral if you need to see a specialist (via Healthline).

Since President Biden took office, enrollment and coverage through the ACA have skyrocketed to new levels. Over 14 million people recently applied for coverage, of which 6 million were newly insured (via NBC News).