You may be eligible for substantially lower premium costs on your Marketplace* health insurance thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. For millions of Americans, their health insurance premiums will go down considerably due to extra subsidies under this new federal legislation which became law on April 1. These new lower premiums will apply to nearly everyone with a Marketplace health plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Many of those who buy their insurance outside of the ACA Marketplace may also benefit.
An analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 92% of people who buy their own health insurance will qualify for a subsidy under the Act. Furthermore, the analysis reveals that 1.4 million Americans who are currently uninsured now will be eligible for subsidized marketplace coverage.
“For some, the savings could be significant,” the New York Times reports. “A 64-year-old who earns $30,000, for example, would see monthly premiums drop to $85 from $195 for a midlevel plan. A family of four that earns $40,000 would go from paying a $136 premium to nothing at all.”
The federal government won’t automatically apply the new subsidies to your premiums. You will need to re-enroll. If you don’t, you will still get the money, but you will have to wait. The government has created a special enrollment period. You have until August 15, 2021, to change your health coverage if you are already in a Marketplace plan or to join a Marketplace plan if you are not currently enrolled. If you already have a Marketplace plan, login to your account on healthcare.gov. Submit your application again to instantly see your new eligibility results. If you qualify for additional tax credit, reselect your current plan and the changes will lower your premiums for the remainder of the year. If you are new to the Marketplace, just navigate to healthcare.gov/quick-guide/getting-Marketplace-health-insurance/ and follow the four step process to apply and enroll.
The new subsidies will also be a boom to those who are uninsured. According to a new government analysis, about three in five currently uninsured Americans, or about six million people, will now be eligible for health insurance plans for which the government will fully pay the monthly premiums.
“These changes are really important because there is a fair number of people who didn’t qualify before,” said Laura Packard, executive director of Get Covered America (a non-profit organization founded in 2017 dedicated to helping Americans enroll and stay enrolled in health care coverage) in a Facebook post. “Maybe they gave up trying; maybe they got a substandard policy somewhere else. This is a great opportunity for them to get coverage.”
If you want help figuring out the best insurance options for you and your family, you can find a wealth of information at healthcare.gov, or call them at 1–800–318–2596. You can also find people and organizations in your community trained to help you enroll at localhelp.healthcare.gov.
*The Health Insurance Marketplace (also known “Healthcare Exchanges”) is a government resource where individuals, families, and small businesses can: