As of July 1, unemployed Americans qualify for hefty Obamacare subsidies that, for 60% of them, reduces their premiums to $0 per month. If you were unemployed at any time in 2021, you might qualify for a new plan by visiting the Health Insurance Marketplace between now and August 15, when an ongoing special enrollment period will end. Here’s what you need to know.
Last week the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced that starting July 1, anyone “who received or are approved to receive unemployment compensation for any week beginning in 2021 may be able to find even lower cost plans and save extra money on out-of-pocket expenses through HealthCare.gov,” which, of course, is home of the federally subsidized healthcare exchange established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. The subsidies are paid for by the American Rescue Plan, which was passed into law earlier this year.
As CNBC reports, the full subsidies apply to the lower-cost silver and bronze plans, so you’re still likely to pay a premium on the more comprehensive gold and platinum policies. That said, as Yahoo! reports, there are silver plans with newly reduced $0 premiums currently available on the exchange.
There are some restrictions, however. The subsidies will vary by state, especially if the services offered go beyond what ACA deems essential health benefits. You also won’t be able to retroactively qualify for the subsidy if you can get health coverage through your employer, for instance.
If you were unemployed at any point in 2021, you can sign up for coverage at healthcare.gov until August 15, when the current open enrollment period ends. If you already have coverage, you can return to the marketplace to update your information to see if you qualify for additional subsidies, too. When you look at plans offered, you’ll likely see at least a few free silver plans that were not previously available. For more on how to shop for a ACA plan, check out this Lifehacker post.
Source link: lifehacker.com