health as it happens

Orlando woman pleads for permanent health insurance subsidies - News 13 Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. — Erin Mouer, a single mother of two and a licensed massage therapist, said she hopes federal leaders follow through on their plans to make the American Rescue Plan Act insurance subsidies permanent.

Congress continues to debate whether insurance subsidies will be included as part of the Build Back Better Act, the reconciliation package House Democrats are pushing.

What You Need To Know

  • Some Central Floridians depend upon health insurance subsidies
  • Many signed up for insurance after the COVID-related rescue plan
  • Without the subsidies or tax credits, some people will have to drop insurance 
  • Congress is still debating what will be included in new legislation to aid Americans

The insurance subsidies made more than 318,000 Florida residents eligible for tax credits, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“I’m a relatively healthy person, but I do have a thyroid condition so I have to monitor that and get blood checks and adjust my medication,” said Mouer, who is 45 years old.

Paying for her treatment and medication could cost hundreds of dollars without insurance.

For years, she received insurance through her employer, but after opening her own business, finding the right affordable insurance became a challenge.

“Now that I am self-employed, everything is completely different, and even with the subsidies, my premiums are 10 times that amount (that she had paid previously) so, if the subsidies go away, I won’t be able to afford the insurance.” she said.

With the subsidies, she pays less than $300 dollars per month for individual insurance, but that pales in comparison to what she expects to pay without them. In fact, without them, she said she doesn’t expect to have insurance at all.

“My premiums might be as much as $1,200-$1,400 a month, and my mortgage is $1,600 a month so, that’s pretty insane,” she said.

Almost 340.000 Florida residents signed up for marketplace coverage during a special enrollment period this year from February to May, according to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The expanded subsidies are set to expire in November 2022 unless they’re extended or made permanent.