What the King v. Burwell Decision Means to You

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People receiving subsidies make up 87% of those who have signed up for coverage for 2015 in states using the federal marketplace. For the vast majority of them, coverage would be unaffordable without the subsidies.” – The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Image credit www.ibtimes.com.
Image credit www.ibtimes.com.

Last week, millions of Americans breathed a collective sigh of relief when the Supreme Court upheld the King v. Burwell decision by a 6-3 margin.  We won’t go into the letter of the law, but the bottom line is that the Affordable Care Act-centered ruling secured tax subsidies that enable millions of Americans to afford medical insurance.  The law applies to all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Here’s why the upholding of the law is so important to young adult cancer survivors in particular:

  • Critical, preventive screenings and checkups are no longer out of financial reach, and YAs no longer have to deal with the embarrassment that results from owing their doctors money (which often causes them to skip those important checkups);
  • It guarantees insurance despite any pre-existing medical conditions, something that used to render cancer survivors out of luck when it came to insurance; and
  • YAs can stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26 – until 2010, dependents were “on their own” as of their 19th birthday. Had the subsidy ruling been overturned, the entire Affordable Care Act could have been put in jeopardy, with the status of insurance for this population following suit.

According to The New York Times, the subsidies of 6.4 million people in 24 states were at risk.  We applaud the decision of the Supreme Court in this case and encourage all YA survivors to educate themselves on their medical rights.  For more information about the Affordable Care Act, visit http://www.HealthCare.gov.

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