Lucy Hodder of Hopkinton is an legal professional and the director of Well being Regulation & Coverage at UNH Regulation. She serves on the NHMS Council Dr. Chris Peterson of Derry is a pediatrician at Londonderry Pediatrics and serves on the NHMS Legislative Committee.
Throughout the nation and in New Hampshire, persons are lacking care and experiencing monetary misery from declining well being care affordability.
Final 12 months, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) making many extra folks eligible for subsidies to buy medical health insurance. The greenback quantity of premium tax credit has elevated in order that extra folks throughout the nation and right here in New Hampshire are totally lined when enrolling in a benchmark silver plan.
Many extra folks than ever earlier than are additionally eligible for premium tax credit. The medical health insurance subsidies which have helped 1000’s of individuals in New Hampshire and tens of millions throughout the nation entry reasonably priced medical health insurance will expire on the finish of 2022, simply as we’re “unwinding” from the COVID-19 pandemic and folks search much-needed care.
We hope that our federal delegation within the U.S. Senate and the Home will prioritize an answer for completely increasing these tax credit which might be so necessary to Granite Staters. If Congress fails to behave, these expanded subsidies expire!
Because of the American Rescue Plan, medical health insurance market (healthcare.gov) shoppers noticed their common month-to-month premium fall by 23% throughout the 2022 open enrollment interval in comparison with 2021. A record-breaking 14.5 million folks signed up for well being protection throughout the nation, with 52,497 Granite Staters enrolling this 12 months utilizing New Hampshire’s Well being Insurance coverage Market Change, a 12.5% progress over 2021. These subsidies have served as a lifeline for tens of millions of individuals throughout the nation, particularly throughout the pandemic as extra folks discovered themselves in difficult monetary and health-related circumstances.
Well being care affordability has been and stays an pressing downside for much too many People. In response to a 2021 Pew Analysis survey, a majority of People deem this challenge a “huge downside.” The survey exhibits that concern about affording well being care rose above concern for the nationwide debt and even violent crime.
Individuals are rightfully anxious about how they’ll afford well being look after themselves and their households, particularly when an sudden medical expense arises. Making well being care, together with prescribed drugs, extra reasonably priced and accessible is recognized by communities throughout New Hampshire as an ongoing and significant want.
Problematically, persons are forgoing important care as a result of prices are too excessive. In response to a survey carried out by West Well being and Gallup throughout September and October of 2021, “Practically one-third (30%) of People skipped wanted medical care previously three months as a result of price, the very best reported quantity for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic started.” Immediately, no particular person ought to need to threat severe or deadly sickness as a result of they’ll’t cowl the price of treating a well being challenge.
Herein lies the problem. A majority of People say that well being care affordability is a giant downside, and a 3rd of individuals report selecting to not get remedy as a result of they’ll’t afford it. But, we nonetheless don’t have a everlasting answer for well being care subsidies that might assist this similar inhabitants of individuals afford life-saving care by means of medical health insurance protection.
The true-world penalties of not fixing this downside in Washington means decreased entry and high quality of look after 1000’s of New Hampshire residents, and tens of millions extra throughout the nation.
Step one ahead for our New Hampshire leaders in Congress is to make medical health insurance subsidies everlasting in order that 1000’s of Granite Staters can entry reasonably priced medical health insurance.