Supreme Court Rules on Health Care

June 26, 2015

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) can continue to provide subsidies for health insurance to qualifying individuals. The decision upheld a centerpiece of the ACA and national health care reform. 

The issue before the Court was whether individuals purchasing health care insurance through federally run exchange systems, rather than state run exchanges, are eligible to receive subsidies. Thirty-four states currently rely on the federal marketplace for health insurance plans. 

TRICARE beneficiaries are unaffected by the decision. At the urging of MOAA and other military and veterans organizations, Congress passed the TRICARE Affirmation Act in April 2010, providing a statutory regulation saying that TRICARE satisfies the minimum essential coverage requirements of the ACA. Congress passed subsequent legislation a month later to exempt VA and CHAMPVA beneficiaries from the coverage requirements. These plans are also excluded from so-called "Cadillac taxes" on high-value plans. 

Importantly, the ACA will not affect TRICARE or the VA's health administration, eligibility, or cost to beneficiaries. 

MOAA's focus remains on safeguarding military and VA beneficiaries' health care benefits, protecting against taxation of those benefits, improving access to providers, and ensuring long-term sustainability of Medicare and TRICARE. Our mission is to make sure government leaders in both the executive and legislative branches understand the important distinction between social insurance programs like Medicare and Social Security and earned compensation for a career of military service and sacrifice. 

MOAA will continue to track the ACA and ensure that military and VA beneficiaries are not negatively impacted.