Thursday’s implementation of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan will be the largest expansion of Iowa health care benefits since the ACA was introduced in 2013, said an Iowa Affordable Care Act specialist.
Jeremy Smith of Iowa Navigator, a non-profit health insurance marketplace enrollment assistance group, said that Biden’s COVID-19 relief package’s expanded eligibility for the ACA’s premium subsidies, lower package prices and extended enrollment periods is the most “significant” health care action to happen in the state since the rollout of the ACA eight years ago.
“Thousands of residents have gained health coverage since the rollout of the ACA back in 2013, but we know that coverage was still out of reach for a lot of families. These expanded subsidies will make coverage more affordable right away for almost everyone who wants Marketplace insurance,” Smith wrote in a statement.
Enacted Thursday, premiums will decrease by $50 per person per month or by $85 per policy per month, on average, according to Smith. The majority of Iowans enrolled will find a plan for $10 or less per month after tax credits.
Under the American Rescue Plan, many who purchase individual health insurance plans on the marketplace can receive tax credits aimed to reduce their premiums.
In Iowa, 22,900 uninsured residents would be newly eligible for tax credits, the Department of Health & Human services projected.
The federal plan also expands the number of people in the state who currently have no insurance coverage—they can now enroll for free. This free coverage would be made available for 1,800 Iowans, according to HHS data.
A second decrease in marketplace insurance costs is set to roll out in early July through HealthCare.gov.
by Isabella Murray
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