Attorney General George Jepsen announced that Connecticut has joined 14 other states and the District of Columbia in legal action to protect health care access for millions of Americans by seeking to intervene in a pending lawsuit that seeks to undercut the affordability of health insurance plans under the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The lawsuit, House v. Price, would eliminate the stable funding for cost-sharing subsidies that the ACA created and that enable millions of Americans access to quality health care. Experts predict that simply the threat to end this funding could destabilize the health care market and increase premiums by as much as 21 percent, according to a statement from Jepsen’s office.
The attorneys general argue that the potential inadequacy of the Trump administration’s representation in the case – made all the more concerning by the regulatory deadlines that state regulators face to review and approve insurer plans for participation on state exchanges – threatens harm to the states, to the health insurance markets they regulate and administer and to the residents who rely on those markets to obtain vital insurance.
For the 2017 plan year, over 47 percent of Connecticut’s exchange members are enrolled in plans that offer subsidies, according to Access Health CT. Two health insurance carriers currently participate in Connecticut’s exchange.
According to affidavits from Access Health’s CEO and the commissioner of the state Department of Insurance, carriers on Connecticut’s exchange have indicated that uncertainty concerning funding and the outcome of House v. Price make it difficult to price their plans and to determine if they will continue to participate in Connecticut’ exchange in 2018. In a separate affidavit, EmblemHealth Inc. – parent company of ConnectiCare, one of Connecticut’s exchange carriers – expressed its support for the attorneys general’s motion to intervene in House v. Price.