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Reports Analyze Subsidies Under The Affordable Care Act

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A national, nonprofit consumer health organization is calling October 1 a milestone, when more than 2.4 million New Yorkers may enroll in health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Two congressional representatives say many are probably unaware of the financial help available.

Families USA released an analysis Tuesday estimating that roughly 1.5 million of the about 2.4 million New Yorkers who may purchase private insurance on the health-care exchange will be eligible for premium subsidies. The nonpartisan group found that an additional 900,000 New Yorkers would become eligible for Medicaid. Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack held a teleconference call on the subject.

Democratic New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, along with Democratic New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone, joined the call. She praised the Affordable Care Act overall.

Pollack says the new financial help through the Affordable Care Act becomes available for middle- and moderate-income individuals who do not have employer-sponsored health coverage. New Yorkers with the lowest incomes – those with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level –will be eligible for health coverage through the newly expanded Medicaid program. Congresswoman Slaughter, who is the ranking minority member on the House Rules Committee, commented on how House Republicans have voted 41 times to repeal at least some aspect of Obamacare.

The 41st time focused on a rule the federal Department of Health and Human Services issued over the summer that gives state-run health insurance exchanges some leeway in deciding who qualifies for federal subsidies. The House vote, namely from Republicans, sought to block this. They say a better verification process needs to be in place.

Another study on the new healthcare exchanges from a separate nonprofit, nonpartisan group was released Monday, with different information. Dr. David Hoberg, who co-wrote the study for the National Center for Public Policy Research, says the subsidy structure generally applies to older, sicker people, and those healthier, younger people ages 18-34 are less likely to qualify, even if they appear eligible.

His study, however, did not include New York.

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