April 13, 2021

WATCH NOW: ‘Is this right?’ New federal law drives down health insurance costs in marketplace | Govt. and Politics

Last week, Torres-Barrera called “out of the blue” and suggested that LeBlanc resubmit her application…

Last week, Torres-Barrera called “out of the blue” and suggested that LeBlanc resubmit her application to the marketplace. The result? Her monthly premium fell from $339 to $209 a month, a monthly savings of $120.

“I feel for people who don’t have support,” she said.

The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that the new law will expand health coverage to 3.7 million uninsured Americans, an increase of 20%. The estimated average savings range from $33 a month for someone who earns less than 150% of the poverty level ($19,320 for an individual), to $213 a month for someone with an income between 400% and 600% of poverty, or up to $77,220 a year. The savings would be significantly higher for families.

“It definitely provides a substantial subsidy to those who have had trouble affording it,” said Doug Gray, executive director of the Virginia Association of Health Plans.

The American Rescue Plan Act also gives consumers plenty of opportunity to apply for coverage on the marketplace, either for the first time or to update plans. Biden already had pushed the enrollment deadline for health plans on the marketplace from Feb. 15 to May 15, but the government has extended the deadline another three months to Aug. 15.

Interest in marketplace coverage already is rising. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said last week that 528,000 Americans have enrolled in marketplace coverage this year, including more than 322,000 in March alone. In Virginia, 14,859 people enrolled in coverage on the marketplace between Feb. 15 and March 31, an increase of 8,901 from the same period a year earlier, or 149%.