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The Unaffordable Health Care Act

Older adults could pay thousands more under House bill

spinner image Unaffordable Health Care Act
The House bill lowers the amount of individual tax credits that help low- to moderate-income people.
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If the health care bill passed this month by the House of Representatives becomes law, older consumers will end up paying a whole lot more for their health insurance. How much more?

It varies by state. In California, a 55-year-old with $25,000 in income could pay on average as much as $8,598 more a year than today. That same consumer could have to pay $5,920 more in Louisiana, $6,670 more in Iowa, $6,975 more in Colorado and $7,602 more in Maine.  Alaskans face the biggest increase: up to $18,533 more.

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That’s according to an analysis by the AARP Public Policy Institute, which compares premiums governed by current law with premiums calculated under the House bill to replace the Affordable Care Act if it became law today.

“The bill affects real people, and we wanted to make sure that everybody understood how their premiums would be affected by the bill,” says Lina Walker, the institute’s vice president of health security. “For most of the states, residents will see significant increases if they are 50 or older.”

The House bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), includes two changes to current law that would affect annual premiums. First, it would increase the amount insurers can charge older consumers. Right now, insurers in most states can’t charge older adults more than three times the amount that younger people pay. But the House would raise that cap to five times what younger people pay. And states could waive that cap and let insurers charge even more, leaving older Americans vulnerable to skyrocketing premiums.

The analysis also takes into account another change that would hurt older consumers: The House bill would lower the amount of individual tax credits that help low- to moderate-income people buy insurance on state-sponsored health care exchanges.

More than 3 million older consumers rely on tax credits to buy coverage on the health care exchanges. Within this group, here’s how much more, on average, a 55-year-old with an income of $25,000 could pay in annual premiums in each state:

$6,272 to $ 7,161
Alaska    $17,964 to $18,533
Arizona    $7,407 to $13,288
Arkansas     $2,209 to $2,557
California   $1,126 to $8,598
Colorado $2,368 to $6,975
Connecticut   $4,685 to $6,967
Delaware*  $5,173
District of Columbia* $2,237
Florida    $2,866 to $9,750
Georgia    $2,956 to $7,457
Hawaii*  $3,578
Idaho $3,256 to $4,154
Illinois   $3,703 to $9,186
Indiana $1,641 to $3,329
Iowa  $4,002 to  $6,670
Kansas $4,002 to $4,644
Kentucky $2,538 to $4,938
Louisiana  $4,958 to $5,920
Maine  $4,270 to $7,602
Maryland  $2,373 to $2,825
Massachusetts †  ($317 to $1,030 decrease)
Michigan  $1,612 to $7,311
Minnesota $3,758 to $8,394
Mississippi  $2,956 to $3,666
Missouri  $3,912 to $7,462
Montana  $6,182 to $6,730
Nebraska  $2,239 to $10,651
Nevada $4,808 to $6,398
New Hampshire* $1,339
New Jersey*  $4,526
New Mexico  $1,492 to $7,582
New York † ($612 decrease) to an increase of $1,061
North Carolina   $8,124 to $9,803
North Dakota  $3,404 to $3,688
Ohio  $1,552 to $6,081
Oklahoma  $7,467 to $9,849
Oregon  $3,374 to $6,804
Pennsylvania $4,569 to $8,473
Rhode Island*  $1,194
South Carolina  $4,330 to $5,281
South Dakota  $5,973 to $6,508
Tennessee   $6,302 to $10,058
Texas $2,597 to $9,307
Utah* $3,583
Vermont*  †  $700
Virginia                                $2,687 to $3,889
Washington                              $281 to $2,364
West Virginia                           $6,332 to $8,482
Wisconsin                               $3,882 to $5,900
Wyoming                                 $7,139 to $7,272

*In smaller states, average premiums typically don’t vary from one part of the state to another.

† In these states, older adults pay either the same premium or twice what younger adults pay.

For more on how the AHCA would affect residents in your state, click here.


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