August 16, 2017

Statement on CBO Score on Elimination of Cost-Sharing Reductions

This post was last updated on December 8, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

Yesterday’s Congressional Budget Office score indicates that stopping cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) would cause insurance premiums to soar by 20 percent next year, and 25 percent by 2020 and thereafter, while adding $194 billion to the federal deficit over the next decade. This runs counter to the idea of making health insurance and care more affordable for millions of low-income Americans and controlling costs across the U.S. health care system.

The Administration, which has threatened to cease paying CSRs, has wrongly categorized these payments as a ‘bailout’ for insurance companies. The payments help low- and moderate-income residents afford out-of-pocket health care expenses, such as deductibles and co-payments.

There are 1.2 million Floridians whose insurance is subsidized through the marketplace, more than any other state. Clearly, the Sunshine State would take the biggest hit if the Administration discontinues these payments. Such an action would expose struggling Florida families to exorbitantly higher out-of-pocket medical costs, substantially reducing their available resources for making ends meet.

The focus should instead be on stabilizing the marketplace and building on the important gains made under the Affordable Care Act.

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