Assembly Assistant Speaker, Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs' (D-Flatbush) statement on today's Supreme Court decision:
"Today's Supreme Court decision to uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act is a victory for New Yorkers and all Americans. No longer will insurance companies be able to drop people from their coverage for no reason, and no longer will they be able to raise premiums without just cause. All of our lives are now safer as a result of this historic decision because it is now a fundamental right to get the care we may need and deserve. I echo the President's earlier remarks and am so very happy for the victory handed to the American people."
The decision leaves in place the so-called individual mandate -- the requirement on Americans to have or buy health insurance beginning in 2014 or face a penalty -- although many are exempt from that provision.
In 2014, the penalty will be $285 per family or 1% of income, whichever is greater. By 2016, it goes up to $2,085 per family or 2.5% of income.
Because the requirement remains for people to have or buy insurance, the revenue stream designed to help pay for the law remains in place. So insured Americans may be avoiding a spike in premiums that could have resulted if the high court had tossed out the individual mandate but left other requirements on insurers in place.
Millions of young adults up to age 26 who have gained health insurance due to the law will be able to keep it. The law requires insurers to cover the children of those they insure up to age 26. About 2.5 million young adults from age 19 to 25 obtained health coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Two of the nation's largest insurers, United Healthcare and Humana, recently announced they would voluntarily maintain some aspects of health care reform, including coverage of adult dependents up to age 26, even if the law was scrapped.
People with pre-existing conditions
Since the law remains in place, the requirement that insurers cover people with pre-existing medical conditions remains active.
The law also established that children under the age of 19 could no longer have limited benefits or be denied benefits because they had a pre-existing condition.
Starting in 2014, the law makes it illegal for any health insurance plan to use pre-existing conditions to exclude, limit or set unrealistic rates on coverage.