Amid ‘Family Glitch’ Fix, Enhanced ACA Subsidy Expiration Looms

While the Biden administration has proposed a long-awaited fix for the Affordable Care Act’s “family glitch” — potentially making coverage more affordable for thousands — the looming expiration of major ACA subsidy expansion threatens to overshadow that progress.

Health insurers that spoke to AIS Health, a division of MMIT, seem concerned about the potential drawback of generous financial help for exchange enrollees, but are not necessarily ready to hit the panic button yet.

“We have the unfortunate benefit, I’d characterize it, as having been through in the past other situations where there was uncertainty about the future of the market,” says Bill Tuthill, vice president of market strategy and federal markets for Highmark Inc. Perhaps the most frightening times occurred when all or major parts of the ACA were in danger of being struck down by the Supreme Court — but that threat didn’t pan out, Tuthill tells AIS Health, a division of MMIT.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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