American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: Savings for Connecticut Residents
A new federal law was passed in March 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act, and it changed the way we calculate financial help for customers for this year and 2022. Many more customers will now qualify for financial help to make plans more affordable. Whether you’re a first-time shopper or an existing customer, there could be big changes ahead for your household, and we want to make sure you know how to take advantage of the new financial help available.
As a result of this new federal law:
- More people than ever before qualify for help paying for health coverage, even those who weren’t eligible in the past.
- Most people currently enrolled in a Marketplace plan may qualify for higher tax credit amounts.
- Your portion of health insurance premiums after these new savings will go down.
- While this law is in place, eligible individuals and households will pay no more than 8.5% of their household income towards the cost of the benchmark plan or a less expensive plan for whichever plan they select.
- There are no changes to how someone qualifies for HUSKY Health. The American Rescue Plan added COVID-19 vaccine and treatment coverage to more Medicaid programs, including the new COVID-19 Uninsured Coverage group.
How to find out if you qualify for Marketplace savings for Qualified Health Plans:
- New Customers: Starting May 1, 2021 anyone shopping through Access Health CT will automatically see the new savings.
- Starting May 1, 2021 customers can update their application and confirm their current plan with updated financial help.
- For customers that have not updated their application starting on May 1, given the impact of the new bill, AHCT will try to automatically apply new financial help to eligible customers in July 2021. We will be in touch with you by early June to let you know if we can automatically update your application or if we need you to take any action.
- Please note you can also wait until you file and “reconcile” your 2021 federal tax returns next year (in 2022) to get any additional premium tax credit amounts you may be eligible to receive.
- IMPORTANT: Please be aware that if you would like to change your plan (May 1- October 31, 2021), you will need to call the Access Health CT call center to make the change, and you should also call your insurance company for questions regarding the plan provider network and prescription drug formulary. Also, any accumulated out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket costs may not carry over when changing plans, and will not carry over if changing your insurance company. Please expect higher than usual wait times for customer service to support this request.
- If you get unemployment compensation:
Taxpayers that are eligible for or that collected Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits at any time in 2021, will be automatically considered to have an annual income at 133% of the Federal Poverty Level ($12,880) and will be eligible for a nearly $0 premium benchmark silver plan with comprehensive cost-sharing subsidies this year. To get started, sign in and report a change to your application or create an account. Tip: Be sure to select Yes to the question, "Did you receive unemployment income in 2021?" on the Income Confirmation step.
Will I be able to change my current plan?
Yes, to review your plan options and change your plan if you would like, you must contact the Access Health CT Call Center.
However, you must contact your insurance company regarding the treatment of any already incurred cost-sharing amounts such as deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket costs, and questions on the provider networks and prescription drug formularies. You should also speak with a broker who can help advise you on whether it could be beneficial to change your plan.
IMPORTANT: Please be aware that changing your plan during this time (May 1- October 31, 2021) will require you to call the Access Health CT call center and your insurance company. Please expect higher than usual wait times.
We will post updates to this article as new information is available. Access Health CT customers will hear from us directly about next steps and the impact on their household.