If you’ve been hearing about the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, you probably still have a lot of unanswered questions about how you could benefit when it comes to your individual insurance in Alabama. We broke it down with Brent Carter from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama (BCBSAL) so you can get all the information you need.
1. What is the American Rescue Plan of 2021?
In a nutshell, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Act) allows more people in Alabama to qualify for premium subsidies from the federal government.
“The American Rescue Plan Act actually reduces the amount of money Alabamians pay for health insurance, in the form of a premium subsidy.”Brent Carter, Consumer Sales Manager, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama
How it applies to you
Now, a large portion of Alabama’s residents have access to quality, affordable healthcare. If you previously had healthcare, the Act may even provide an opportunity for you to pay less for your current individual plan.
Since it extends the current Special Enrollment Period to August 15, 2021, consumers can purchase or change their Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual plan and take advantage of additional premium subsidies.
2. Who will benefit?
A lot of people! Here are just how a few can take advantage of the plan.
Previously, if you had no coverage and called to ask about health insurance, you wouldn’t be able to participate in the ACA open enrollment period until November 1.
However, under the Act, there is an ACA special enrollment period from April 1 through August 15. Let’s say you enroll in June—the coverage will be effective in July. This extension goes all the way through August 15 of 2021.
Individual plan enrollees + those who didn’t previously apply for premium subsidies
The Act also helps those who currently have coverage but are not receiving it through their employer.
“For people who have an ACA individual plan, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 removed the income cap. So, more people will qualify for these premium subsidies and can lower their portion of the premium.”Brent Carter
Additionally, individuals with incomes exceeding 400% of the Federal Poverty Level now qualify for premium subsidies for the first time since the implementation of the ACA.
Those who already are receiving premium subsidies
Already purchased your own health insurance? The Act can still help you.
“Those people who are receiving premium subsidies, they can go back in and update their information and possibly receive more subsidies and lower their premium.”Brent Carter
So, for example, if you’re a member of BCBSAL, you may be able to upgrade to a better plan that offers lower out-of-pocket costs on average for the same price or less than you’re paying today.
For individuals who are 60-64 years old and will become Medicare-eligible at 65, the Act will lower their premium the most, because they’re paying the highest premium without subsidies.
3. How do you find out more information?
Phew, that’s a lot of info! If you still have questions about how the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 can benefit you, reach out by:
- Heading to HealthCare.gov and see if you qualify for the new subsidies
- Calling BCBSAL at 855-890-7416
- Visiting AlabamaBlue.com
“Blue Cross is dedicated to providing affordable, quality health insurance to the residents of Alabama. This is a great way to lower the cost that you would pay for your individual health insurance.”Brent Carter
Visit Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates.