Montana Insurance Commissioner Reacts to Supreme Court Ruling on Obamacare [YouTube]
Montana Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen said on Thursday she was relieved that the U.S. Supreme Court voted 6-3 to continue federal health insurance subsidies to over 41,000 Montanans.
Spokeswoman Jennifer McKee explained Lindeen's reaction to the King v. Burwell decision.
"The possibility of nearly 42,000 Montanans losing the tax credits they've been relying on to buy health insurance for the last two years was not only financially destabilizing for those Montanans, but posed the possibility of destabilizing the entire insurance market," McKee said. "We were all relieved to see that the system that's now in place, though it may not be perfect all the time, but it is the system that our insurance market is running on right now, and we can't just pull part of the rug out from underneath it and think it's going to be OK."
McKee said the vast majority of those covered by the Affordable Care Act receive federal subsidies to help pay their premiums.
"In Montana, 85 percent of the folks who buy their health insurance get a federal health insurance tax credit," she said. "That's 41,766 people. The average tax credit is $230 per person who is insured. So, if it was you and your spouse it would be $460 a month. In 2015 that brings in $9.6 million a year into Montana's insurance and healthcare market.A lot of that money goes to pay doctors and hospitals and other providers. So, the yearly impact for Montana is a little over $115 million. To imagine that our healthcare system could continue working without that $115 million was a situation that caused a great deal of concern."
Lindeen said the decision is one more thing healthcare providers will not have to worry about.
"Now our companies can devote themselves to paying claims and covering Montanans without keeping a nervous eye on the Supreme Court,' Lindeen said.