Last week the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the King v. Burwell case that challenges the legality of federal health care subsidies to low- and middle-income residents who purchase insurance on the federal health care exchange in those 37 states that did not establish their own state-based exchange.

This issue for the court is, “Whether the Internal Revenue Service may permissibly promulgate regulations to extend tax-credit subsidies to coverage purchased through exchanges established by the federal government under Section 1321 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”


The case was last taken up by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which ruled in July 2014 to uphold the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rule that authorizes health insurance premium subsidies in states that rely on the federal exchange. The Supreme Court did not release any comment with its decision to hear the case. Oral arguments could be scheduled as early as January 2015. Similar challenges are pending in lower courts, and may be put on hold while awaiting the high court’s ruling on this case.

SCOTUS has a blog that is following this case if you want to see what has been discussed prior to last week’s decision.