Governor announces that the state will not build and operate its own exchange
South Carolina will not be developing its own health insurance exchange, according to Governor Nikki Haley. The decisions is expected to impact more than 154,000 people living in the state, whom currently receive subsidies from the federal government to cover the cost of their health insurance policies. The state already has an insurance exchange, but it is managed by the federal government. Depending on a ruling from the Supreme Court, subsidies offered through the exchange may no longer be available.
Supreme Court ruling could put an end to insurance subsidies
The Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling regarding the availability of government subsidies for health insurance coverage. The matter has to do with the King v. Burwell case, which is focused on the issue of subsidies being offered in federal exchanges. The Affordable Care Act made these subsidies available, but the provision for these subsidies only makes them available through state-run exchanges, not those controlled by the federal government. The majority of the exchanges in the country are operated by the federal government, and the ruling from the Supreme Court could put an end to the subsidies that these exchanges have offered.
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Majority of consumers receive subsidies for their health insurance policies
More than 90% of those in South Carolina that have purchased health insurance coverage through the state’s exchange receive financial aid for this coverage from the federal government. In order to maintain this financial aid, the state would have to establish its own insurance exchange. Doing so would show inordinate support for the Affordable Care Act, according to some lawmakers that have opposed the healthcare law.
State aims to find a solution that will allow people to keep their coverage
The state will be looking for alternatives to building its own insurance exchange. The priority is to ensure that consumers will be able to keep their health insurance policies, though coverage will become significantly more expensive without subsidies being available. No solution has presented itself at this time, however, which may be a cause for concern among those making use of subsidies.