The latest coronavirus relief package did more than dole out $1,400 checks. The law also made health insurance free for millions more people and reduced costs for others, at least for now.
The American Rescue Plan , which President Joe Biden signed in March, expanded subsidies for people buying their own insurance on Affordable Care Act exchanges. In addition, anyone who receives unemployment benefits this year can qualify for zero-premium health insurance through the exchanges, regardless of income.
In fact, many people who are currently uninsured will qualify for free or low-cost coverage through the exchanges or Medicaid, says Daniel McDermott , a policy analyst with KFF , the nonpartisan health care think tank formerly known as the Kaiser Family Foundation.
People who lost their jobs but want to keep their former employer’s health insurance also may get help. If you don’t qualify for group health insurance elsewhere, the federal government will pay your COBRA premiums for up to six months.
MILLIONS QUALIFY FOR FREE ACA COVERAGE
Since 2013 , ACA exchanges have allowed people to buy individual and family health insurance policies, usually with tax credits that reduced their premiums and other costs. ACA has four levels: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Bronze plans typically have the lowest monthly premiums and the highest deductibles; platinum plans have the highest premiums and the lowest deductibles.