HHS Announces Reduced Costs, Expanded Access for Marketplace Health Coverage

insuranceImage by Gerd Altmann
Department also announces $50 Million Boost to Special Enrollment Period Outreach Campaign

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra announced that additional savings and lower health care costs are available for consumers on HealthCare.gov. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) has increased tax credits available to consumers, helping to reduce premiums and giving consumers access to affordable health care coverage.

The Department also announced an additional $50 million in advertising to bolster the Special Enrollment Period outreach campaign. The campaign will run through August 15, 2021.

“We’re delivering lower health care costs to more Americans because everyone deserves access to quality, affordable health care. Today help is here and millions of Americans can start saving money on their health insurance premiums thanks to the American Rescue Plan,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The Biden Administration is committed to bringing down health care costs for families. Consumers can save money by visiting HealthCare.gov and choosing a plan that works for them and their budget. HHS will be reaching out to encourage Americans to use the Special Enrollment Period to sign up for quality, affordable coverage through HealthCare.gov.”

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Premium tax credit calculations for the Marketplaces on HealthCare.gov are now adjusted so that most consumers qualify for more substantial advance payments of premium tax credits. Many Americans on the Marketplaces will see their premiums decrease, on average, by $50 per person per month and $85 per policy per month. An average of four out of five consumers currently enrolled in a plan through HealthCare.gov will be able to find a plan for $10 or less per month with the newly expanded financial assistance under the American Rescue Plan. Additionally, after advance payments of the premium tax credits, an average of three out of five uninsured adults eligible for coverage on HealthCare.gov may be able to access a zero-premium plan and nearly three out of four may find a plan for $50 or less per month on HealthCare.gov.

Current enrollees should review their application, make any changes needed to their current information, submit their application and select a plan, or reselect their current plan, to receive the increased advance payments of premium tax credits for 2021 Marketplace coverage. Consumers who take action in April and confirm updated savings on the plan of their choice will start receiving the savings and lower costs starting with their May 1 premiums.

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Consumers who want to enroll in coverage and see if they qualify for more affordable premiums can visit HealthCare.gov or CuidadoDeSalud.gov to view 2021 plans and prices and, if eligible, enroll in a plan that best meets their needs. Additionally, consumers can call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596, which provides assistance in over 150 languages. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325. Consumers can also find a local assister or agent/broker in their area: https://localhelp.healthcare.gov. Eligible consumers can apply through HealthCare.gov through August 15, 2021, to gain access to the Special Enrollment Period to change or update their plan choices.

Consumers who live in a state that operates its own Marketplace platform should visit their state Marketplace website or call center for more information about when these additional savings will be available through their State-based Marketplace.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched an educational campaign that focuses on raising awareness among the uninsured about the new savings and the availability of assistance to pay for premiums for those who qualify during the Special Enrollment Period. CMS is also communicating with current enrollees to let them know they can also use this opportunity to update their enrollment information and access the expanded financial assistance. The outreach campaign includes broadcast and digital advertising and educates enrollees with email and text messages.

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To see how the American Rescue Plan will bring down health care costs and expand on the Affordable Care Act, visit: https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2021/03/12/fact-sheet-american-rescue-plan-reduces-health-care-costs-expands-access-insurance-coverage.html.

To learn more about the premiums for uninsured individuals and families for the Marketplaces that use HealthCare.gov, visit: https://aspe.hhs.gov/pdf-report/access-to-low-premiums-issue-brief-part-II.

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