It’s Not Too Late To Save Money With Subsidized Private Health Coverage

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No health insurance? You still have a few weeks left to sign up for low- or no-cost private coverage through the public marketplace, CNBC reports. You can use your state’s exchange or healthcare.gov to sign up during the special enrollment period, which closes on August 15.

See: Stimulus Package Update Offers Free Health Insurance Through The End of the Year
Find: 10 Things To Know If You Don’t Have Health Insurance

More people that ever qualify for help paying for health coverage, according to healthcare.gov, even those who weren’t eligible in the past. You may even qualify outside of the designated enrollment period due to a qualifying event, such as losing other coverage, getting married, having a child or moving, added CNBC.

CNBC added that according to government data, nearly 1.5 million Americans have secured coverage during the current enrollment period and another 2.5 million of those enrolled have been able to lower the cost of their premiums. About 12 million people are enrolled through the marketplace, authorized by the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

Related: How To Handle a Claim Your Health Insurance Won’t Pay

Due to the American Rescue Plan Act, these subsidies are larger for 2021 and 2022 and will reach a greater number of people. CNBC pointed out that the cap, which was generally only available to households with income from 100% to 400% of the poverty level, will be eliminated through next year. The amount anyone pays in premiums will be 8.5% of their income level. If you’re collecting unemployment this year, zero-premium health plans that come with minimal or no cost-sharing are available through the marketplace.

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Cynthia Cox, a vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation and director of its Affordable Care Act program, told CNBC that while there is no income test, you can generally not qualify for subsidies through the ACA marketplace if you can get coverage through your employer. Cox also mentioned that the low-cost silver plans cover about 94% of a person’s costs compared with 85% in employer plans.

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The Biden administration proposed extending the annual open enrollment for the ACA marketplace, according to CNBC, and instead of running from November 1 to December 15, it would remain open until mid-January. The Biden administration has also proposed allowing year-round marketplace enrollment for households with up to 150% of the poverty level.

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Last updated: July 28, 2021

About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.

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