Courts issue conflicting decisions on US health exchange subsidies

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 23 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4803
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Two federal appeal courts issued conflicting rulings on 22 July about whether the Obama administration can subsidize premiums for health insurance bought from federally run health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act.

The exchanges were established to create competitive marketplaces where people with no other coverage could compare and shop for health insurance. To make the coverage affordable, premium subsidies were offered to people with incomes below $45 960 (£27 000; €34 000) for individuals and $94 200 for a family of four.

Nearly seven million people have bought coverage through the exchanges, of whom more than 80% have qualified for subsidies, which averaged about $2 900 per person. …

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