Substantial Changes to ACA Health Insurance Take Effect April 1st
Iowa Navigator says this is the largest expansion of benefits since the launch of the ACA in 2013.
Starting on April 1, Iowa residents will have a new opportunity to enroll in health coverage through the Marketplace and get lower pricing. Anyone who is not eligible for insurance through Medicare, Medicaid, or employer-based insurance is eligible for Marketplace insurance under the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) provisions. New rules to expand coverage options for those who currently have ACA insurance will expand subsidies and lower monthly premiums. Anyone currently enrolled or those who are uninsured and need coverage can take advantage of the expanded financial help. Even most high-income earners will now be able to qualify for the lower-cost plans. Additionally, those who are uninsured and have received any Unemployment Compensation benefits in 2021 will have special access to free or reduced-cost plans. IA residents now have until August 15, 2021 to enroll in the program.
Jeremy Smith, program director for Iowa Navigator, a non-profit enrollment assistance group, says that this extended enrollment period, along with the lower prices and expanded eligibility, is the most significant thing to happen to healthcare in Iowa since the rollout of the ACA. He said, “Thousands of residents have gained health coverage since the rollout of the ACA back in 2013, but we know that coverage was still out of reach for a lot of families. These expanded subsidies will make coverage more affordable right away for almost everyone who wants Marketplace insurance.” Premiums will decrease, on average, by $50 per person per month or by $85 per policy per month. Four out of five enrollees will find a plan for $10 or less/month after premium tax credits.
Iowa Navigator is available to assist people with the process of signing up and applying for subsidies. Those already enrolled must update their application to receive the new rates. Anyone in Iowa can call (515) 978-9570 to get free enrollment assistance. Consultations are available over the telephone or through a telehealth option, allowing callers to see their application completed in real-time. There is no charge for enrollment assistance. The agency receives federal funding to assist consumers. More information is available at www.acanavigator.com.