Richer Health Insurance Subsidies Available This ACA Enrollment Season
Many people who come to the Affordable Care Act marketplaces for the 2022 open enrollment period, which begins Nov. 1, may be learning for the first time about new financial assistance available to them. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the COVID-19 relief package passed in March, broadened eligibility for ACA health insurance subsidies and made the financial aid more generous for those who already qualified.
The size of the new savings varies across income levels. The new ARPA subsidies on average will cover just over a third of the cost of a benchmark plan for someone earning between 400% and 600% of the Federal Poverty Level – a group that was previously ineligible for subsidies. Lower-income marketplace shoppers in a household earning under 150% of FPL will now pay $0 per month for a benchmark plan, with reduced out-of-pocket costs.
Although ARPA subsidies first became available in the spring, our recent poll found just one in four people who are uninsured or buy their own coverage have checked to see if they qualify for the extra help. The enhanced subsidies are set to expire at the end of 2022, but Congress is debating whether to extend them for a longer period or permanently.