The News Is Good

We are getting a better understanding of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and how it will impact your health insurance if you are under age 65 and buying your own policy.  Much of the focus on the recently passed law has been on the stimulus checks and child tax credit.  Today’s post is from an update I sent my clients.  This blog has a national following according to Google Analytics.  Most of you reading this are outside of my service area.  It is not an advertisement.  The information is relevant whether you live Portland, Maine or Portland, Oregon.  I encourage you to talk with your local agent to review your specific options.

Tax Credit Subsidy – This may be one of the most important changes.  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) included provisions to help Americans pay for their health insurance, the way most of us access and pay for health care.  The 2010 law created Tax Credit Subsidies which were tied to the Federal Poverty Level.  If you, or you and your family, earned less than 400% of the FPL, you could get help.  This was never updated till now.  The new subsidies are going to increase for most of you who have policies on the Exchange.  And the 400% cut-off is going to be eliminated for at least 2021 and 2022.  Instead, the law will extend benefits to all Americans purchasing their own coverage on the Exchange with a goal to limit the cost of insurance to no more than 8.5% of their income.   These changes will impact over 3 million Americans this year.


  • If you are currently on the Exchange, you should review you current subsidy. You may qualify for a higher subsidy which would lower your premium or allow you to switch to a more comprehensive policy.
  • If you are currently on the Exchange and don’t do anything, you will probably get a larger refund when you file your taxes next year.
  • If you are not currently on the Exchange, you and your agent should take a look to see if you would save money. I can’t guarantee that you will, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
  • THE SYSTEM WILL NOT HAVE THE NEW CALCULATIONS INSTALLED UNTIL EARLY APRIL. You will be much happier if you wait till at least the middle of April to meet with your agent. I am going to schedule my clients for the end of April and the first two weeks of May.

COBRA – Some people will qualify for a 100% premium subsidy for COBRA coverage for as much as March 1, 2020 to September 1, 2021.  There are some details to be resolved, but the key is that the employee must have been involuntarily terminated or had his/her hours reduced to zero.  Please contact your former employer’s COBRA administrator if you think that you might qualify.

Grandmothered Policies – We hold our breath each year waiting for the federal and state governments to approve an extension of Transitional Relief, the right to retain the policies sold and put in place between April 2010 and December 2013.  The Biden administration pushed this through in February and Ohio quickly followed.  This is good news for some of my individual and small group clients.

Rx Discount Cards – Many of you have asked how to deal with the ridiculous cost of prescription drugs.  This is especially relevant for those of you with high deductible policies that don’t have an Rx copay.  Clever Rx is new option.  The link will let you to sign up for a free discount card.  There is a great app that will allow you to price your medications based on both the dosage and the drug store.  Yes, the drug store matters.  This may help.  There are other Rx plans, too.  Find the one that works with drugstores in your area.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is major legislation.  Today’s post is just to make sure that you are aware of a few of the ways it will impact your health insurance options.  Please contact me if you have any questions.

It is great to be able to deliver good news.  My second shot is scheduled for March 31st!  New vaccine locations are being announced every day.  Be smart.  Be careful.


Picture – We Celebrate Good News – David L Cunix

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