Earlier this month, the American rescue Plan was passed, and within the plan, there was a two-year extension of the Affordable Care Act. It intends to make health insurance more affordable for more Americans.
It is referred to as the most significant expansion of health insurance since the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, passed over 10 years ago. With this new expansion, many Americans will be able to save on their health insurance. However, the bill is only for the next two years, and unless Congress passes additional bills into law, these savings will end in 2022.
Who is eligible for help?
There are currently an estimated 33 million uninsured Americans, and this new legislation aims to move towards coverage for all. If you are currently insured through the marketplace, you may need to update your application for changes to take place. Although they are attempting to do this on their own. Do not trust that they will and edit your application. Eligible individuals who are said to save under the new bill provisions include:
- Individuals who obtained coverage through the ACA
- Self-employed individuals who buy their insurance
- Laid-off workers
- Individuals collecting unemployment
Unfortunately, there is no blanket form of obtaining these benefits like there was for the stimulus checks. This means many Americans are left to do their research on whether the bill will benefit their health coverage or not. Keep in mind that your income, age, and geography will determine the amount of subsidy you may be eligible for. States have their own set of subsidy laws and formulas in addition to the federal ones outlined in the Affordable Care Act.
What is in the bill?
As with everything in life, there is a big caveat to keep in mind; this is only a short-term fix, according to health care researchers. According to researchers, the only clear path to expanding health care is to obtain more government subsidies for commercial health plans. This is very costly. The bill has allotted $20 billion to insurance companies, but this will run out by 2022, leading to other issues. Another more cost-effective route would be the expansion of Medicaid, which brings with it its hurdles. Health care professionals would be paid less when a patient has Medicaid instead of a commercial health plan. That is where the resistance for Medicaid expansion arises.
Health insurance tax credits
The new bill changes the formula for tax credits related to health insurance. It is said that it will be a more generous tax credit as opposed to in previous years. It may be tricky as the HealthCare Marketplace software must be updated using the new formula and allow Americans to sign up for new health care plans by the new deadline of August 15.
This is a particular enrollment period and needs to be taken into account. They will also need to adjust current customers’ plans to match the new formula. You should do your research and see if you qualify and then file or update your application.
Do you have questions about the expansion of the Affordable Care Act? Are you unsure about your current coverage or how to obtain coverage? You can find answers to these questions by speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney at the office of Merkel & Cocke, P.A. Call us today at 662-627-9641, or complete a contact form to schedule a consultation. We have offices in Jackson, Clarksdale, Greenville, and Oxford.
After graduating from the University of Virginia Law School in 1975, Mr. Cocke and Mr. Merkel established Merkel & Cocke, P.A. in 1982. Since that time the emphasis of Mr. Cocke’s practice has progressed toward medical malpractice. At the present time his practice is exclusively devoted to handling medical negligence cases for the plaintiff, either as a result of direct contact by the client or on referral from other attorneys who are not familiar with the handling of medical negligence cases. Mr. Cocke was selected Best Lawyer of the year for 2012 and 2014 in The Memphis area in the field of Medical Malpractice and has been selected a Best Lawyer and Super Lawyer every year since 2006. Learn more about John Hartwell Cocke here.