The ruling is “very good” for the business community, said Frank Knapp, president and CEO of the S.C. Small Business Chamber of Commerce. “We will not have more uninsured people in the state.”

Whether a business provides employees with health insurance or not, the ruling is important because workers who have health policies are more likely to be healthier, productive and not facing the financial stress to paying skyrocketing medical bills, Knapp said.

In addition, Knapp noted that health care is a growth industry in South Carolina as companies have expanded to provide services for an growing an aging population. The industry represents investment and jobs, he said.

“When people have health insurance and are able to go to a health care provider, that provider will be paid,” Knapp said. The court ruling “is a major decision for the economy of our state and country.”  

 

Columbia Regional Business Report
June 25, 2015

By Chuck Crumbo

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today upholding Affordable Care Act premium subsidies impacts more than 150,000 South Carolinians who have been able to obtain health insurance.

The 6-3 decision in King v. Burwell (.pdf) cleared the way for citizens in 34 states without a state-based exchange, such as South Carolina, to continue to pay for health policies with federal tax credits.

“South Carolina’s hospitals are encouraged by the court’s decision to uphold health care subsidies for more than 150,000 South Carolinians,” the S.C. Hospital Association said. “While today’s judgment allows many families to breathe a sigh a relief, we continue to seek a solution for the 200,000 working poor citizens who fall into the state’s coverage gap and make too little money to qualify for a health subsidy.”

Opponents of the health insurance law, commonly called Obamacare, contended that people in states without a state-based exchange were not entitled to receive federal subsidies.

In the majority opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court made its ruling based on the intent of Congress. “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” Roberts wrote.

What impact the ruling will have on South Carolina’s insurance business remains to be seen.

“The Department is reviewing the decision closely, but we do not anticipate any major regulatory changes in South Carolina,” said Ray Farmer, director of the S.C. Department of Insurance.

The ruling is “very good” for the business community, said Frank Knapp, president and CEO of the S.C. Small Business Chamber of Commerce. “We will not have more uninsured people in the state.”

Whether a business provides employees with health insurance or not, the ruling is important because workers who have health policies are more likely to be healthier, productive and not facing the financial stress to paying skyrocketing medical bills, Knapp said.

In addition, Knapp noted that health care is a growth industry in South Carolina as companies have expanded to provide services for an growing an aging population. The industry represents investment and jobs, he said.

“When people have health insurance and are able to go to a health care provider, that provider will be paid,” Knapp said. The court ruling “is a major decision for the economy of our state and country.”

The Kaiser Family Foundation, a California-based nonprofit focusing on health issues, estimates that 154,221 South Carolinians received tax credit subsidies to pay for their health insurance. Kaiser added those tax credits totaled more than $43.3 million a month or about $520 million a year.

If the court had ruled against the government, the average monthly premium for those receiving the subsidies would have climbed by 335%, Kaiser said.

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling, which upheld subsidies for individuals who purchased insurance through federal exchanges, as they do in South Carolina, ensured that financial assistance will continue for those who qualify for its support,” said Patti Embry-Tautenhan, spokeswoman for BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.

“There is more work to be done to make health care more affordable and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina remains committed to providing high-quality, affordable health care coverage to all our members,” Embry-Tautenhan said. “To move forward and create positive change, we are partnering with patients, physicians and hospitals to transform the health care system by encouraging coordinated care and aligning payment with quality outcomes so that patients (our members) get healthy faster and stay healthy longer, while reining in health care costs for everyone.”

http://www.columbiabusinessreport.com/news/54896-court-ruling-upholds-health-insurance-subsidies-for-150-000-south-carolinians?rss=0

 

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