An important part of the repeal and replacement discussions around the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will involve the type and amount of subsidies that people get to help them afford health insurance. This is particularly important for lower and moderate income individuals who do not have access to coverage at work and must purchase coverage directly. The ACA provides three types of financial assistance to help people afford health coverage: Medicaid expansion for those with incomes below 138% of poverty (the Supreme Court later ruled this to be at state option); refundable premium tax credits for people with incomes from 100% to 400% of the poverty level who purchase coverage through federal or state marketplaces; cost-sharing subsidies for people with incomes from 100% to 250% of poverty to provide lower deductibles and copays when purchasing silver plans in a marketplace. This analysis focuses on alternative ways to provide premium assistance for people purchasing individual market coverage, explaining how they work, providing examples of how they're calculated, and presenting estimates of how assistance overall would change for current ACA marketplace enrollees. Issues relating to changing Medicaid or methods of subsidizing cost-sharing will be addressed in other analyses.
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