Washington D.C. – The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce its historic ruling on the Obama health care law Thursday in Washington, [Friday on Guam] and numerous health care benefits for the Guam hang in the balance.
HEAR Matt Kaye’s report HERE>>>6-26 supreme health.mp3
The High Court will decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act and whether the law’s mandate for employers to provide health coverage and individuals to buy it is constitutional.
The Supreme Court will also decide whether health benefits and consumer protections that stem from that mandate can survive or are “severable”—if the mandate falls.
Key for Guam is up to $58 million in available Medicaid funding by 2019.
Guam is eligible for $42 million this Fiscal Year under the new law, up from about $12 million before the Affordable Care Act became law. The new money could be threatened if the Supreme Court rules the affordable care act mandate is unconstitutional. Insurers could also argue that they have no obligation to provide premium rebates to more than 46-thousand insured in Guam.
The Obama health care law requires rebates when insurers fail to use at least 80-percent of premiums for health services. The U.S. Department of Health and Services says the average rebate in Guam will be $852-dollars per qualifying family—the highest in the nation—and must be paid by August 1st. Vermont was second, the NMI third at 782-dollars.
The national average is $151-dollars.
Other Guam benefits hanging on the Supreme Court’s ruling, non-discrimination protection for pre-existing conditions, not charging women more for health insurance than men and lower drug costs for seniors on Medicare.