As we drum our fingers and tap our feet waiting for the Supreme Court's verdict on the Affordable Care Act, let's take a moment to reflect on one of the many benefits set to kick in soon if the ACA is upheld.
Think Progress reports:
"12.8 million Americans will receive $1.1 billion in rebates from insurers that have not met minimum spending guidelines in Obamacare, the administration announced Thursday morning. The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to spend 80 to 85 percent of premium dollars on health care services or issue rebates to policy holders. The average rebate is valued at $151 per household. "
Texas residents will be getting an even higher than average amount, with $167 million in rebates coming to Texas. That's an average of $187 for each of the 895,000 Texas families covered by a policy.
According to the Washington Post, "This requirement - known in the law as the 'medical loss ratio standard' - came into effect on Jan. 1, 2011. Rebates will go to customers in plans that exceeded the limit last year."
If the law is overturned, though, insurers won't be forced to pay rebates based on a law deemed unconstitutional. And the likelihood of them issuing the rebates out of the kindness of their hearts seems low.
The amount of rebates varies significantly by state, and also by whether you get insurance through an employer. For some people the rebates may be less direct, but it still ends up benefitting insurance policy holders in the end:
"Not all money will flow directly to consumers: For those who receive insurance through their workplace, the health insurance plan will send a rebate to the employer. It is then the employer's responsibility to either pass that rebate on to the individual or use it in other ways that may benefit the employee, such as lowering premiums for the next year."
Just another pretty great policy hanging in the balance this week.