Biden Announces Proposal Based on Brown Legislation to Expand Affordable Health Coverage for Families

Brown Introduced Bill to Fix “Family Glitch” to Ensure Children and Spouses Get Tax Credits to Pay for Coverage When Employer Insurance Doesn’t Cover Families

WASHINGTON, DC – April 5, 2022 – Today, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (OH), announced that the Biden-Harris administration plans to implement a new policy to fix the “family glitch” in the Affordable Care Act. The new policy is partially based on Brown’s Family Coverage Act, which would fix a glitch in the health care system to make health insurance coverage more affordable for families.
“I’m glad the Biden-Harris administration is implementing a long overdue fix to the family glitch – no one should ever have to worry about whether they can afford health care coverage for their family,” said Brown. “Fixing this glitch in the system will bring down health care costs for hundreds of thousands of families, and make sure more people can get the tax credits that help make comprehensive health insurance more affordable.”  
Due to a glitch in current law, if a mother or father has health insurance through their employer, but their employer does not offer affordable coverage for their spouse or their children, these family members can be prevented from getting the tax credits needed to purchase affordable insurance on the exchanges. Brown’s legislation specifies that affordability must be determined using the cost of family coverage rather than individual coverage, which would expand the eligibility of families for premium assistance tax credits.
Under the ACA, large employers are required to offer comprehensive, affordable health coverage to their employees. If the employee is able to access affordable coverage through their employer, they become ineligible to receive the tax credits that can help purchase health insurance coverage through the ACA’s exchanges. The Administration’s proposal, which is based on Brown’s legislation, was announced earlier today, and is expected to help an estimated 200,000 uninsured Americans access affordable care and lower premiums for an additional million Americans.
This change not only helps families but also brings the definition of “affordable” into alignment with what Congress intended and is reflected in the rest of the ACA. Making this improvement to the law would strengthen the ACA and help millions of Americans gain access to meaningful, affordable health insurance coverage.