Health Insurance Case Could Affect Over 1 Million Arizonans

Published: Sunday, October 6, 2019 - 7:16am

A new analysis says if a federal court strikes down the Affordable Care Act, 28% of adult Arizonans under age 65 could be affected. That's approximately 1.1 million people.

These are insurance customers who have a “declinable” pre-existing condition, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation: illnesses that, before the health care law, insurance companies used as reasons to decline coverage.

Kaiser’s Karen Pollitz said insurance brokers used to ask potential customers about cancer, pregnancy, and HIV, and a host of other medical conditions.

“And if you confessed to one of those conditions, then you would not be able to buy individual health insurance at any price,” Pollitz said.

The ACA barred insurers from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions.

A federal court will decide any day now whether the health care law is unconstitutional. Eighteen states, including Arizona, are saying the law should be thrown out now that the financial penalty for not buying health insurance is zero dollars. That was a change Republicans in Congress made in late 2017.

Pollitz said if the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals strikes down the law, families nationwide would be hit.

“We also estimate that almost half of non-elderly families include at least one of these uninsurable adults,” she said.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is one of the state officials asking the court to throw out the ACA. Twenty-one states and the U.S. House of Representatives are arguing to uphold the law.

Its likely whichever side loses the case will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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