The big headline of the Recovery Act was the stimulus checks that went out to most Americans, but it also included a significant expansion of the Affordable Care Act.
Bottom line: There are some potential savings for you on your health insurance.
There’s a lot to cover, so hang with us here. We’ll cover 4 big things you need to know, and then tell you what (if anything) you need to do about it.
4 Things You Need to Know About the American Recovery Act
1. Lower Premiums (Greater Subsidies) for Most People in a Marketplace Plan.
The Marketplace is basically re-structuring the way it determines how much subsidy someone gets. Without boring you with the technical stuff, suffice to say most people will be eligible for more subsidy relief, which obviously saves your cost. Some people will get a lot of relief.
2. Many People Who Didn’t Get Subsidies Before Will Qualify Now.
This will be really big news for some of you. Until now, if you made more than 400% of the federal poverty level (based on your household size and household income), you got nothing from the Marketplace and had to pay the full price for coverage, which is quite expensive.
Now, the law basically says that your annual premium cannot exceed 8.5% of your annual income.
3. Anyone Who Receives Unemployment Compensation Could Be Eligible for Even More Savings.
We are honestly still a bit hazy on how this one will work, but if you’ve gotten unemployment benefits at all in 2021, you’re going to want to contact us because these could be massive subsidies.
4. A Special Election Period for Everyone.
The Biden administration opened up health insurance enrollments again as of February 15. Last week they extended that special enrollment period until August 15. That means that anyone can enroll in a health insurance plan on or off the Marketplace.
If you’ve already enrolled, you can change plans. A couple notes:
- If you switch to a new health insurance company (i.e. you have Molina but want to switch to BlueCross BlueShield), you can do that, but please know that your deductible will reset.
- If you switch plans but keep the same company (i.e. you switch from a BlueCross bronze to a silver plan), your deductibles will carryover.
What You Need to Do to Get Lower Health Insurance Prices
These changes will be implemented April 1, 2021.
Here are your options:
1. Re-certify in the Marketplace. In order to see any changes on your monthly bill, you’ll have to re-certify in the Marketplace. This will essentially be similar to the process you went through to enroll in the first place, but it should be more streamlined because your information is already there.
You can contact us to walk you through it, or you can click the appropriate button:
2. Do nothing. If you don’t make any changes or re-certify in the Marketplace, any additional subsidies will show up when you file your 2021 taxes. (They will be reflected in Form 1095).