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No Immediate Impact on Mainers Receiving Premium Assistance after Dueling Federal Appeals Courts Conclusions on Legality of Obamacare Subsidies

No Immediate Impact on Mainers Receiving Premium Assistance after Dueling Federal Appeals Courts Conclusions on Legality of Obamacare Subsidies

Despite the wide-spread success of the Affordable Care Act’s first Marketplace open enrollment period nationally and in Maine, political opponents of the law continue to file legal challenges to several aspects of the law in federal courts around the country.  Yesterday, two federal appeals courts issued decisions within several hours of one another that came to opposite conclusions on whether individuals who enroll in a plan purchased through the federally-facilitated Marketplace (which is the case as Maine, which uses the Healthcare.gov website) are entitled to the same premium assistance as those who enrolled through state-facilitated Marketplaces.

Because Maine is one of the 34 states using the federally-facilitated Marketplace, these decisions may create confusion and concern among the 44,000 Mainers who recently got their health plan through Healthcare.gov.

MeHAF President and CEO Dr. Wendy Wolf, commenting on the rulings, underscored that no one will lose their subsidized health insurance coverage at this point, but the cases may work their way up to the Supreme Court, as has happened with other parts of the law. “The 90% of Mainers who received financial assistance paying for their health plans through the Marketplace should not be concerned right now- these rulings will not have an impact on your current coverage or level of financial assistance. Many Mainers who enrolled through the Marketplace are finally getting quality health coverage for the first time in their lives.  It is unfortunate that legal challenges continue to create confusion about the law.”

Read more on the decisions:

Field, Jay, Maine Health Care Advocates: Don't Panic Over Dueling Subsidy Rulings, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, 7/22/14.

Farwell, Jackie, Federal Courts Disagree over Obamacare, Creating Uncertainty about Mainers' Health Insurance Subsidies, Bangor Daily News, 7/22/14.

Lawlor, Joe, Two Rulings Split on Legality of Subsidies under Obamacare, Portland Press Herald, 7/22/14.

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