Web Briefing: Understanding the Health Coverage and Affordability Provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act signed into law earlier this month includes a number of provisions aimed at making health coverage more accessible and affordable amid the public health and economic crises created by the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes include a temporary expansion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) premium tax credits for people who purchase marketplace health plans; new subsidies for people who purchase COBRA coverage through a former employer; new financial incentives to encourage additional states to expand their Medicaid programs to cover low-income adults under the ACA; and a new state option to provide postpartum coverage to low-income women who had their maternity care covered by Medicaid.

On Thursday, March 25, KFF held a web briefing to explain these changes and their expected impact on consumers, insurance marketplaces, and states. KFF’s Executive Vice President for Health Policy Larry Levitt moderated the discussion, which included short presentations from:

  • Senior Fellow Karen Pollitz, who provided an overview of the ARP’s changes aimed at making private health coverage more accessible and affordable.
  • Vice President Cynthia Cox, who presented new national and state-by-state analysis of the enhanced tax credits on the affordability of coverage for current marketplace enrollees and those currently uninsured.
  • Vice President Rachel Garfield, who described the temporary boost in federal funding available to states to encourage them to implement the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and other Medicaid provisions in the new law.

Along with the panelists, Robin Rudowitz and Usha Ranji participated in the audience Q&A.

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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.