The American Rescue Plan and Health Insurance in Georgia

The American Rescue Plan was signed into law by President Joe Biden today. While the bill covers many different things, we wanted to focus on how it will impact health insurance for Georgia residents. If you are not sure how the bill will affect you, give us a call and we will help explain further!

ACA Obamacare Subsidy Increase

The biggest impact to health insurance is the provision of the bill that changes the cap for the cost of health insurance premiums. Both the percentage of income spent on insurance and the amount of earnings in order to receive a subsidy are changing with the bill. This will make it so many people who are already getting a subsidy will receive a bigger subsidy. It will also mean that many people that made to much money for a subsidy before would not qualify for a subsidy. These additional premium subsidies will extend through 2022.

Not sure? The best option is to go onto our quoting system and see what subsidy your income qualifies you for: https://www.healthsherpa.com/?_agent_id=terri-potter. You can also call or email us for additional help: https://ga-health-insurance.com/contact-us/

If you are already receiving a subsidy, you can claim your additional subsidy in two ways:

  1. You can call the marketplace and they will reduce your monthly premium accordingly.
  2. You can wait and claim your additional subsidy on your 2021 taxes.

Expands ACA Subsidies for the Unemployed

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) expands those who qualify for cost sharing reduction of ACA plans to the unemployed. This may allow individuals who have been on unemployment and did not previously qualify for a subsidy to now receive cost sharing reductions for their health insurance.

COBRA Changes

COBRA also got a temporary boost under the bill. Starting April 1, 2021 and going through September 30, 2021, COBRA subsidies will now be covered at 100% by the American Rescue Plan. Guidance is still forth coming on how these subsidies will be administrated but if you are currently on COBRA or plan to go on COBRA soon, this is good news.

Medicaid Expansion

Georgia has long resisted Medicaid expansion. The ARP seeks to incentivizes states that have not yet expanded Medicaid to go ahead with expansion. It increases the federal funding for Medicaid expansion by 5% for two years. It remains to be seen whether lawmakers in Georgia will consider this a big enough advantage to expand Medicaid.

Other Provisions

There are a number of other provision relating to health insurance but the majority of them will not directly or noticeably impact most insureds. Here are a couple of most notable ones that may impact you:

  1. Increased Medicare reimbursement for select hospitals. This could increase Medicare payments to some hospitals in rural areas.
  2. Adjusting Medicare reimbursement for ambulances.  Some ambulance providers were not paid for their services under some specific COVID related guidance from governments. This provision would pay them.
  3. Increased funds for rural hospitals and facilities. Rural hospitals and facilities often struggle with funding. This measure would give funds for lost revenue attributable to the COIVD pandemic for some rural hospitals.
  4. Increased vaccine funding.
  5. Increase funding for VA medical care.

 

Give us a call if you have more questions on how the American Rescue Plan might affect your health insurance in Georgia!

 

American Rescue Plan: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/1319/text

CMS Fact Sheet: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/american-rescue-plan-and-marketplace

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