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New Health Care Insurance Subsidies in the USA

Summary:
The .9 trillion covid19 relief law (American Rescue Plan Act) includes large increases in health insurance subsidies in addition to the ,400 per person payments to individuals. The law increases subsidies for 2 years. Under the new law, nobody will have to pay more than 8.5% of their income on health insurance. The government will also pick up 100% of COBRA premiums through September. COBRA is health insurance for people who’ve lost their jobs. “Probably about three-quarters of uninsured people in the U.S. who are citizens are going to be eligible for some sort of financial help,” said Cynthia Cox, a vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. I wrote before about the fact that under the old law, based on how the subsidy worked you could lose over ,000 in health care

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The $1.9 trillion covid19 relief law (American Rescue Plan Act) includes large increases in health insurance subsidies in addition to the $1,400 per person payments to individuals. The law increases subsidies for 2 years.

Under the new law, nobody will have to pay more than 8.5% of their income on health insurance. The government will also pick up 100% of COBRA premiums through September. COBRA is health insurance for people who’ve lost their jobs.

“Probably about three-quarters of uninsured people in the U.S. who are citizens are going to be eligible for some sort of financial help,” said Cynthia Cox, a vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

I wrote before about the fact that under the old law, based on how the subsidy worked you could lose over $5,000 in health care subsidy payments by earning just enough to no longer be eligible for the subsidy. This new law eliminates that issue (for 2 years) as it is now pegged at no more than 8.5% of income (instead of having a hard cut off where subsidies go to $0).

For people most people that pay for their health care themselves (instead of their employer paying) this is likely a much larger benefit than the cash payment of $1,400.

The Kaiser Family Foundation calculator lets you get a quick idea of what your approximate subsidy benefit. A 55 year old earning $55,000 would be entitled to a subsidy of $4,700 about 50% of their health insurance costs (based on the USA average). For a 50 year old the subsidy would be $2,900 or 38%. For a 60 year old the subsidy would be $6,800 or 59%. For a couple of 35 year olds and 2 children the subsidy would be $12,100 per year or 72%.

For a 35 year old couple earning $85,000 with 2 children the subsidy would be $9,600 per year or 57%. And for a 55 year old earning $85,000 the the subsidy would be $2,200 per year or 23%.

Only the family of 4 would have been eligible for any subsidies under the old law (or will be eligible after this new law expires in 2 years). And the single 55 year old earning more than $80,000 is not eligible for the $1,400 payment but would receive $2,200 as a health care subsidy.

This is a huge personal finance benefit that has not been widely discussed but will have a huge impact on people’s financial health for the next 2 years.


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