New York's Temporary Premium Subsidies: Meeting Immediate Goals and Yielding Useful Lessons

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), New York used a temporary subsidy program to make health insurance exchange coverage more affordable for thousands of low-income parents during a transition between the phase-out of the Family Health Plus program in 2014 and the implementation of the new Basic Health Program in 2016.

That subsidy program, the little-known Advanced Premium Tax Credit Premium Program (APTC-PP), was a timely bridge for many New Yorkers. Though it was small in scale compared to other ACA implementation tasks, it is valuable as a model in creatively addressing a challenge posed by the ACA: how to leverage new federal funds without harming low-income consumers. This brief, provides financial and enrollment data on the APTC-PP, and highlights lessons learned should policymakers consider a more enduring premium subsidy program to address health insurance affordability challenges.

New York's Temporary Premium Subsidies is the fourth in a series of snapshots highlighting issues related to the ACA as a complement to UHF's annual Big Picture chartbook on health plan operations. The first snapshot report, After the Reinsurance Is Gone, looks at the Transitional Reinsurance Program. The second, The Next Wave, considers the impact of two proposed mergers on New York's insurance market. The third, New Life-and Covered Lives, examines steps New York took to improve its individual market. The Big Picture VI, a comprehensive overview of New York's insurance markets, analyzing enrollment and financial data across health plans and lines of business since implementation of the ACA, is available here.

Read the related press release

Support for the United Hospital Fund's Health Insurance Project is provided by the New York Community Trust.