Press Releases

Contact: Michele Kayal
Phone: 703-919-8778

ACA tweak to make insurance more affordable for many families


The Biden Administration plans to publish a proposal tomorrow outlining changes to the Affordable Care Act that eliminate the “family glitch,” a flaw that makes health insurance coverage unaffordable for roughly 5 million people — more than half of them children.

“In addition to ensuring that more children have affordable health insurance, this simple change could save hundreds of thousands of families hundreds of dollars a month,” said First Focus on Children President Bruce Lesley. “Those are dollars that families can spend on food, clothing, housing, and other necessities that support the healthy development of our nation’s children.”

The so-called “family glitch” underestimates the true cost of covering a family, making employer-sponsored coverage unaffordable by excluding the family from marketplace subsidies. A draft of the rule, to be published April 7 in the Federal Register, would base eligibility for ACA health insurance subsidies for job-sponsored coverage on the cost of covering the employee and the employee’s family members. If approved, the rule will take effect on Jan. 1, 2023. Please see our fact sheet “Removing the Family Glitch from the ACA” for more details.

First Focus on Children has worked for more than a decade to repair the family glitch. In 2012, First Focus Campaign for Children sent a letter to Congressional Leadership and then-President Obama urging them to remedy the family glitch, either through legislation or administrative action. In 2014, Mr. Lesley testified before a Capitol Hill health care committee, urging Congress to fix this flaw, which has negatively impacted the health coverage or affordability of coverage for an estimated 2.7 million children.