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Health Centers Brace for King vs. Burwell Ruling

Friday, June 12, 2015  
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The nation's 1,200 federally qualified community health centers would be hit hard by a possible U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month eliminating premium subsidies for people buying coverage through the federal insurance exchanges in up to 37 states.

Such a ruling would have a major effect on the clinics, which are required by law to serve all patients for free or on a sliding-scale basis. They then would have to provide far more uncompensated care, clinic leaders say. Given the shortage of primary-care physicians, Health Centers have been key primary-care providers for Americans who have received expanded private and Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

If the court strikes down the subsidies in the King v. Burwell case, it's estimated that 6.4 million Americans would lose subsidies. It's expected that many of those people would drop coverage because it would become unaffordable. It is estimated that Health Centers nationally are serving nearly 1 million patients covered by plans purchased through the federal exchanges. 

Source: Modern Healthcare

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