At a time when millions of Americans find themselves burdened by high health care costs, the American Rescue Plan provides relief, with a historic expansion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its marketplaces across the country, improving accessibility and affordability.
Millions of Washingtonians across the state will see relief under this bill, but for the other three-quarters of residents, more needs to be done to lower consumer health insurance costs. As it stands, only those accessing plans via the marketplace are set to see any relief, leaving millions on the outside looking in when it comes to lowering costs. And even then, it will only affect their insurance premiums, not out-of-pocket costs like copays and deductibles.
An estimated 23.6 million Americans, including nearly 7% of Washingtonians with employer-based coverage pay high premiums that amount to 10% or more of their annual household income. Another 5% of Washingtonians continued to be burdened with rising out-of-pocket costs that similarly make up 10% or more of their annual household income.
The American Rescue Plan was a start, but our leaders must now work to address consumers’ concerns when it comes to all of these health care costs.
Scott Keck, Seattle