If lawmakers acted to keep a temporary provision that expands access to affordable health coverage in 2021 and 2022 rather than allow it to expire, it could result in 4.2 million fewer uninsured people in the United States, according to an analysis by researchers at the Urban Institute, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Among the provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, passed by Congress last month, is an expansion of Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace subsidies during 2021 and 2022, the first expansion of such subsidies since the ACA was enacted in 2010.
For people who sign up for health coverage through the marketplace and were previously eligible for subsidies, the American Rescue Plan enhances premium tax credits, reducing the amount that households pay for premiums. With the new law’s provisions, everyone who is eligible for tax credits and has an income less than 150% of the federal poverty level can select a free silver-level (midlevel) health plan.
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Stephenson J. Making New Law’s Health Insurance Subsidies Permanent Could Cut Uninsured by 4.2 Million, Study Finds. JAMA Health Forum. 2021;2(4):e211061. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2021.1061