Self-employed workers and freelancers now have expanded access to major medical health insurance plans. In a typical year, the Open Enrollment period for individual plans is generally a 6-week period that ends on December 15th. As a result of the pandemic, however, the enrollment date for 2021 plans has been extended twice – first to May 15th, and most recently to August 15th. As part of the American Rescue Plan, President Biden just announced the second Special Enrollment extension so that individuals, including those who are self-employed, can make sure they are covering themselves and their dependents.
Not only has access to health insurance enrollment expanded, but plans are significantly more affordable. The extended special enrollment period includes enhanced premium subsidies (i.e. tax credits) to help decrease costs. Subsidy eligibility was significantly expanded and eliminates repayments that could otherwise be required during tax reconciliation.
So how does this play out in terms of savings? Under the extension, subsidy premiums will drop an average of $50 per enrolled person per month, and 4 out of 5 enrollees can find a plan for $10 or less month. According to Kaiser Health News, an individual paying $30,000 can obtain a silver plan for $85 per month instead of $195. And a 4-perspn family with a household income of $75,000 will only pay $340 per month instead of $588.
What steps can you take today to either enroll in coverage or determine whether you qualify for an enhanced subsidy? If you do not currently have coverage, or you are considering a new plan, you can evaluate ACA plan options through SoleVenture’s broker network today. If you have already enrolled in marketplace coverage through healthcare.gov, you can update your initial application and reselect your current plan to get details about your potential subsidy. Individuals who already purchased a 2021 plan on the marketplace that did not qualify for a tax credit will need to re-enroll to get the new credit.
A couple additional health insurance-related impacts of the American Cares Act include the potential to get zero-premium plans in 2021 if you are receiving unemployment benefits. In addition, if you are receiving insurance coverage through COBRA, you may be eligible for a temporary 100% premium subsidy.
Thankfully, the American Rescue Plan has made quality, affordable access to health insurance a priority, including for the self-employed. Now is a great time to ensure you are adequately covered. Contact SoleVenture to learn more.