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CBO Analysis of the American Healthcare Act: Older and Poorer Pay More

According to the Congressional Budget Office’s Analysis of the American Health Care Act, premium costs will affect older low-income adults drastically. For instance, a 64-year-old making $26,500 a year would pay around $1,700 in premiums (per year) right now. With these proposed changes by the GOP, that person would pay $14,600, a whopping eight times more.

The reason it’s so important to acknowledge this information is because there is a large gap in what the young and the older demographic pay in premiums.

Currently, under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), premiums for people 64 and older can’t be more than three times what they are for a 21-year-old.

The new GOP bill would let health insurers charge older Americans up to five times more than what younger Americans pay (A rise from 3-to-1 to 5-to-1).

ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLE OF SUBSIDIES FOR NONGROUP HEALTH INSURANCE UNDER CURRENT LAW AND THE AHCA, 2026

Sources: Congressional Budget Office; staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation

The uninsured rate for older, low-income insurance buyers will more than double. Sadly, Americans aged 50-64 will also see a dramatic increase in the cost of insurance. The chart below shows a major leap in the uninsured for people (aged 50 to 64) who have an income below 200% of the federal poverty level. Notice the 12% increases to 30% for this particular age group.

Share of Nonelderly Adults Without Health Insurance Coverage Under Current Law and Under the AHCA, by Age and Income Level, 2026

Sources: Congressional Budget Office; staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation

Hopefully, this version of the American Health Care Act will change before it becomes law. If not, the older and poorer demographic in this country will have a lot to worry about.

 

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