Dueling Court Rulings Bring Flurry of Calls to State Insurance Commissioner [AUDIO]
Two court rulings that basically cancelled each other out on Tuesday brought dozens of nervous calls to the office of Montana's State Auditor and Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen.
Spokeswoman Jennifer McKee said late Tuesday afternoon that both decisions came out of separate courts, and both addressed the subject of tax credits granted to those who have health insurance policies through the federal exchanges.
"There were two circuit court decisions that came out today and they're in conflict," McKee said. "They have to do with five or six words in the Affordable Care Act legislation that talk about how Americans get tax credits in the individual health insurance market. The circuit court of the District of Columbia concluded that the IRS was incorrect in granting tax credits to Americans who bought health insurance through a federally built exchange website. They ruled that only those who used a state-run website could claim the tax credits. Another court in Virginia ruled exactly the opposite."
McKee brings the matter home to Montanans.
"What it means today for the thousands of working Montanans who are currently receiving tax credits to buy individual health insurance, is that there will be very little change for quite some time," McKee said. "While the federal courts decide in the meantime, the tax credits as Montanans experience them will not change. If you currently receive tax credits to help you pay for health insurance, that's not going to go away."
McKee said any final resolution of the issue is out of the hands of individual states, and will be up to federal courts and lawmakers to decide.
"There won't be any changes in the tax credits for the foreseeable future," McKee said.