President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) into law on March 11, 2021. ARP makes major improvements in access to and affordability of health coverage through the Marketplace by increasing eligibility for financial assistance to help pay for Marketplace coverage.
The new law will lower premiums for most people who currently have a Marketplace health plan and expand access to financial assistance for more consumers. Below are some answers to how this act will take effect for people enrolled on HealthCare.gov .
Frequently Asked Questions for HealthCare.gov Enrollments
When will the increased subsidies be available?
- Extra tax credits will be available to preview and opt into beginning April 1ston HealthCare.gov
- 2021 Special Enrollment Period (SEP) in response to the Covid-19 pandemic runs from 2/15 through 5/15
- New enrollments and plan switches can only occur through 5/15
- Individuals can opt into the additional subsidies at any point throughout the year outside of the SEP period
- These expanded subsidies will be available to clients with on-exchange plans throughout all of 2021 and 2022
What does an enrolled person on the exchange need to do to take advantage of these new subsidies?
- Currently HealthCare.gov states they will NOT automatically update premium tax credits on behalf of current enrollees, so members will need to go back into their account and opt in to determine their APTC eligibility
Does an enrolled person need to opt in by the 15th of the month for the new subsidies to take effect by the 1st of the following month?
- No, the subsidy redetermination process follows the same deadline guidelines as the current Pandemic SEP, so a member needs to opt in by the end of the month for the subsidies to take effect the first of the following month, e.g. April 30thfor a May 1 start date
What happens if an enrolled person doesn’t opt into the expanded subsidies in 2021?
- Tax credits will be reconciled when on-exchange members file their 2021 taxes in 2022
What happens if a member isn’t enrolled in an on-exchange plan for 2021, can they still get the new subsidies?
- You have to move to an on-exchange plan by 5/15 in order to be eligible to receive the expanded APTC. Off-exchange plans do not qualify for APTC reconciliation on their taxes.
What impact will this have on consumers?
- The subsidy increases are large enough that people with incomes at:
- 100-150% of the FPL will have $0 monthly premiums if they select most Bronze plans or 1stor 2nd lowest cost Silver plan in their region
- 150-250% of the FPL could see their subsidies increase by 50-70%
- 250-400% of the FPL could see their subsides increase by 30-50%
- Greater than 400% of the FPL will be eligible for subsidies for the first time ever if their insurance costs exceed 8.5% of their income (Gross or net)
If you need assistance with Healthcare.gov or looking for an alternative to the standard programs, call our office at 800-362-2809 and ask to speak with Crystal, Frank or Stevan. Frank is also Bilingual and can assist Spanish speakers. You can also visit us online at www.getagreatquote.com for more information.