Biden proposes ACA coverage expansion to include more families

President Joe Biden proposed a change in federal regulations April 5 to expand health coverage to millions of people through the Affordable Care Act.

The proposal aims to close what is known as the "family glitch," according to a press release.

People who do not have access to affordable health coverage through their employers can qualify for subsidies to purchase coverage through the ACA marketplace. The federal definition of affordable employer-provided coverage is only for single individuals and not for family members, meaning about 5 million people are ineligible for the marketplace subsidy. 

To fix the glitch, the proposal directs the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service to allow family members of employees who are offered affordable self-only coverage but unaffordable family coverage to qualify for the subsidies to purchase family health coverage through the ACA marketplace. If the rule is approved, an estimated 200,000 uninsured people would gain coverage, and nearly 1 million would see their coverage become more affordable.

President Biden will also sign an executive order Tuesday directing agencies to find ways to make coverage more affordable for more people.

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