U.S. Supreme Court Case Could Affect Wyoming Healthcare

May 13, 2015

Credit Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

A U.S. Supreme Court decision this summer could affect health coverage for nearly 21,000 Wyoming residents. The court will decide if subsidies can be provided to low-income individuals in states that don’t have their own health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

Wyoming is one of more than 30 states without its own insurance marketplace.

Of the 21,000 citizens enrolled in a health care plan under the federal government run marketplace, 91% receive the premium tax credit, which on average pays for more than 70% of their monthly premiums.

Wyoming Insurance Commissioner Tom Glause says the state has several options if the ruling kills the tax credit, including setting up its own exchange, but that could cost more than $8 million to build, and more than a million a year to maintain. But Glause says that’s not much compared to the loss of current subsidies.

...that's 8 million dollars a month we would be losing in subsidies.

"I think you have to put into perspective though, if you do that math the average advanced tax premium credit is 400 dollars for roughly 20,000 people, that’s 8 million dollars a month we would be losing in subsidies," says Glause.

The court is expected to have a decision at the end of June.