Update: Supreme Court ruling on Affordable Care Act

Much attention has been focused on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold key provisions in the Affordable Care Act. At Providence, we recognize that this is a landmark court decision, and we are taking time to review the details and implications of the ruling. We know it will have varying impact across our service areas.

We do know that the decision does not change our strategic direction or our commitment to our Providence Mission and vision, which call us to ensure affordable access to high-quality care for everyone in the communities we serve. Providence will continue to make significant investments in innovations that help clinicians deliver better care that meets each patient’s needs. Also, we’ll move ahead with our work to create and spread best care practices across the health care system so that every patient can benefit from the collaboration of our clinicians and experts.

We’ve prepared a quick summary of the ruling below. Thank you for your interest in this important issue.

What did the Supreme Court decide about the individual mandate?

The individual mandate was found to be constitutional, relying upon the broad taxing authority of the federal government, and Congress’ specific ability to impose a tax on those who choose not to buy health insurance.

What did the Supreme Court decide about the Medicaid expansion provision?

The Medicaid expansion mandate for states was ruled as unconstitutional, but the impact of this was mitigated by the court through the elimination of a provision that would have imposed a financial penalty on states for non-compliance.

How will the Medicaid decision impact my state or community?

We don't know yet, but states are now able to opt in to the Medicaid expansion – if they choose to expand eligibility, they have access to additional federal funds. If they don't, they face no financial penalty. Each state government will have to resolve whether they voluntary expand Medicaid and access the additional federal funding to underwrite the work. This may impact coverage levels and charity care reduction, by market, depending on how states respond to this new flexibility.

I’m a Providence Health Plan member. What changes take effect right now?

There are no changes taking place today concerning your Providence Health Plan insurance benefits. At Providence Health Plan, we are committed to doing everything we can to deliver access to high-quality, affordable health care for our members and the employer groups we serve.