Tester Sponsors Another Bill to Improve Health Care System and Lower Out-Of-Pocket Costs
Senator’s Latest Proposal Will Provide Tax Credits to Help People Pay Health Insurance Premiums
(U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester today sponsored another bill to fix the current health care system and lower the cost of health care for Montanans.
Tester's Addressing Affordability for More Americans Act will provide premium tax credits to working Montanans, who make too much money to qualify for existing tax credits, but still can't afford health insurance. This bill will directly help Montanans who purchase health insurance in the individual marketplace and are facing rising premiums due to partisan efforts to undermine the current health care system.
"I have held health care town hall meetings across the state and I keep hearing from folks who are glad they finally have access to life-saving health care, but they are struggling to afford their premiums," Tester said. "This bill will help the families afford quality health insurance. Rather than force a bill through Congress that doubles premiums, let's pass legislation that will immediately lower the out-of-pocket health care costs for hardworking families."
The Affordable Care Act created a tax credit for individuals who earn up to $48,000 annually. Tester's bill will increase that threshold so people earning up to $96,500 can qualify for tax credits to help pay for health insurance.
These premium tax credits will guarantee that individuals do not pay more than a certain percentage of their income for health insurance premiums. Under the current structure, people making up to $48,000 a year pay no more than 9.5 percent of their annual income towards health insurance premiums. Tester's bill creates a tiered income structure where folks will only pay a proportional part of their income toward health insurance premiums. The bill puts a ceiling on the tax credits to ensure that Montanans making up to $96,500 will pay no more than 15 percent of their annual income towards health insurance premiums.
Tester is sponsoring legislation to ensure the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stabilizes health insurance markets to better control the cost of health insurance premiums by making cost-sharing reduction payments, and he is urging health insurers and the Montana Insurance Commissioner to shed more light on 2018 health insurance costs.
The Addressing Affordability for More Americans Act is Tester's latest bill to improve the current health care system, increase access and lower the cost of health care. Tester's other actions include:
Individual Health Insurance Marketplace Improvement Act
A bill to create a new permanent reinsurance program to help cover the claims of the sickest enrollees in the Marketplace.
Marketplace Certainty Act
A bill to ensure the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stabilizes health insurance markets by making cost-sharing reduction payments.
A bill to force drug companies to publicly report detailed information when they raise the price of their drugs.
A bill to ensure Montana gets its fair share of Medicaid expansion funding.
Restoring Rural Residencies Act
A bill to allow Medicare to reimburse residency programs for the time residents spend at Critical Access Hospitals.