American Rescue Plan special enrollment period for individuals & families ending
Little Rock, Ark. (August 9, 2021) — The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, also called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package, allows for many Arkansans who are not on Medicare or who don’t have employer-sponsored health insurance to qualify for health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Those who do not have a marketplace policy will have until August 15 to take advantage of this special enrollment period.
The purpose of the American Rescue Plan is to speed up the United States’ recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill, which was passed by the federal government in March, lowers or eliminates health insurance premiums for many lower- and middle-income families enrolled in the Health Insurance
Marketplace. “Enrollees may save up to 20% or more each month on premiums, for an average of savings of $50 per person per month,” said Samantha Skyrme, manager of agent marketing for Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. “Financial assistance may be available to people with higher incomes who did not qualify for it before.”
The percentage of income a person pays toward their Affordable Care Act plan premium will be reduced for everyone with income below 400% of the federal poverty limit. People with income equal to or higher than 400% of the federal poverty limit will be eligible for advance premium tax credits (APTC). The maximum anyone will pay for a benchmark plan will be 8.5% of their
income. The federal marketplace will automatically increase advanced premium assistance
September 1 for Arkansas Blue Cross marketplace policyholders who have not updated their policy since April 1.
“Since the American Rescue Plan was implemented, Arkansas Blue Cross has helped more than 20,000 Arkansans take advantage of these enhanced premium tax credits,” said Skyrme. “But you must enroll or make changes to your Health insurance Marketplace plan by August 15. Talk to an independent insurance agent or call Arkansas Blue Cross at 855-625-0376, visit an ArkansasBlue welcome center near you, or go online to arkbluecross.com/ARP.”