Rachel Gershon in STAT: Senate health care bill will make insurance exchanges unaffordable

UMass Medical School Communications

July 10, 2017
  Rachel Gershon, JD, MPH

Rachel Gershon, JD, MPH

Fewer people will be able to afford health insurance purchased through state and federal exchanges under provisions in the Senate health care bill, according to UMass Medical School health care law and policy expert Rachel Gershon, JD, MPH, in an opinion piece for STAT.

The Senate’s plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is not much different from the version passed by the House last month. Gershon, an associate in the Center for Health Law and Economics, breaks down how the bill would drastically change the individual health insurance market and result in millions being unable to afford coverage.

While the bill expands insurance subsidies to individuals with incomes below the poverty line, its other provisions will increase costs in the long run, Gershon explains. Those subsidies would be calculated to cover a smaller percentage of health care costs and go up as people age. In addition, cost-sharing subsidies would go away in 2019. 

The bill also makes insurance less equitable by allowing state exchanges to opt out of the “essential health benefit” requirement under the ACA. That means states can pull back coverage to a bare minimum.

Gershon is an expert in Medicaid, health reform, federal waivers and social services. She has written and presented extensively about health insurance and affordability, and often cites her background as a health insurance counselor.

Related story on UMassMedNow:
Rachel Gershon in STAT: States may drive future of national health care reform