Curbelo Urges Treasury to Provide Temporary Healthcare Relief to Puerto Rico
Washington, D.C.—Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) sent a letter urging the Department of Treasury to provide Puerto Rico with temporary healthcare relief.
"Last week I sent a letter to Secretary Jacob J. Lew, urging the Department of Treasury to provide Puerto Rico with temporary relief from the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) Section 9010 fee during the Territory’s economic crisis. The fee operates as a tax on health insurance providers and is passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums. This tax hits local government expenditures, Medicaid, and the highly popular Medicare advantage (MA) program. Medicare Advantage is the backbone of the Puerto Rican healthcare system, however since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented, Medicare Advantage funding in Puerto Rico has been reduced by over $1 billion. In addition to these draconian cuts, MA plans and their beneficiaries must also shoulder the majority of the Health Insurance Tax with no offset despite paying the ACA tax. Without immediate relief, 2016 will be a catastrophic year for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries and the entire healthcare system in Puerto Rico. Since residents of the territories are not currently eligible to use the ACA marketplace to purchase insurance, or received any tax credits to purchase coverage, I ask that the Administration exclude Puerto Rico and all territories from this incredibly burdensome and detrimental tax.”