Quach, Hanh Kim

Hanh Kim Quach is the Health Care Policy Coordinator for Health Access California. Before joining the organization, she worked as a journalist for nearly 9 years covering issues in California. Health Access California is a statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition of over 200 groups. This article has also been published on the Health Access Weblog.

Keep Our Sights on Affordability

By Hanh Kim Quach
California Budget Project
Reprinted from California Budget Bites

Now that both the House and Senate have passed a version of health care reform, Congress must navigate one final step before any bill lands on President Obama’s desk.

A conference committee next month will combine the two plans into one bill. One element that will certainly loom large: Subsidies to help low- and middle-income families purchase health coverage.

Both the House and Senate plans establish a new insurance “exchange’’ that would offer a range of plans with different levels of premiums, benefits, and cost-sharing. Subsidies would be available for certain individuals and families to purchase coverage through that exchange. The amount of the subsidy would be tied to either the second-least-expensive plan or an average of the three lowest-cost plans available through the exchange. Those who opt for more expensive coverage would pay for the additional costs themselves.