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Report: U.S. Supreme Court Decision In King V. Burwell Could Cost 1.3M Floridians Health Subsidies

Infographic via Kaiser Health News/Kaiser Family Foundation shows what type of insurance exchange is used by each state.
Kaiser Family Foundation

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide whether health insurance subsidies for millions of Americans in 34 states, are legal. And if the high court says they aren’t, 1.3 million Floridians could lose their health insurance, or end up paying far more for it.

The case is King v. Burwell, and the U.S. Supreme Court is deciding whether health insurance subsidies in states that did not create their own insurance exchanges, are legal. It’s the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act, and the law’s advocates are concerned because more than 11 million Americans have insurance subsidies.

Families USA infographic shows impact of King v. Burwell if U.S. Supreme Court rules against subsidies in states with federal exchanges.
Credit Families USA
Families USA infographic shows impact of King v. Burwell if U.S. Supreme Court rules against subsidies in states with federal exchanges.

 “Given King v. Burwell is one of the  top two controversial cases before the court—the other being the same-sex marriage issue—our presumption is that the decision will come down at the end of this term," said Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack. 
And the last day of this term of the Supreme Court, is Monday, June 29.

Florida has led the nation in ACA health insurance enrollment. More than 1.3 million Floridians currently have a subsidized health plans, paying an average of $82 a month. If those subsidies disappear, Pollack estimates premiums for those people could nearly quadruple in cost.

“If they lost these subsidies, it would increase to $376 a month. In other words, it would four-and-a-half times as large. It means individuals would be paying on average $294 a month in premiums or on an annual basis, $3,528 more.”

The Families USA report notes most of Florida’s enrollment has taken place in South Florida—which is home to nearly half of the 1.3 million Floridians who have subsidized health insurance. The report also breaks down the Congressional Districts that could be hit the hardest, should the High Court rule against the law. And the pain would cross party lines.

In Florida, those are seats occupied by Congresswomen Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Lois Frankel, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Frederica Wilson, along with Congressmen Alcee Hastings, Carlos Curbelo and Ted Deutch. Congressman Mario Diaz Balart has the largest number of ACA enrollees in his district, with more than 90,000 people currently enrolled in an ACA-subsidized health plan. 

Follow @HatterLynn

Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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