"For some Californians this means they will finally be able to afford health care coverage and get the protection and peace of mind they need in the middle of a health crisis," says Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California.
According to a recent analysis, an estimated 25 million Americans, including 3 million Californians, could potentially benefit from the expanded premium assistance. To help give uninsured and unsubsidized Californians time to sign up for coverage, Covered California launched a new special enrollment period that runs through the end of the year.
"If you already have health insurance through a qualified health plan, you don't need to do anything," explains Don Truong, director of sales at Sharp Health Plan. "Most people can expect to see a much lower bill, and that includes people who haven't qualified for financial help in the past, as they may now be eligible for premium assistance with the new law."
While the new special enrollment period will last through the end of 2021, uninsured individuals and families are urged to act quickly so they can benefit from the financial help.
Find out if you qualify for new premium assistance
Covered California recently launched a new savings calculator tool that allows consumers to check if they qualify for premium assistance under the American Rescue Plan Act.
"Thanks to the new premium subsidies, Sharp Health Plan is offering plans through Covered California as affordable as $1 a month, or $100 a month for a family of four," says Truong. "Our team is all hands on deck to get the word out. Some folks could even save hundreds of dollars every month. If you never thought you could afford health insurance, now's the time to rethink it and take advantage of the new financial help."
Unemployment recipients may also qualify for assistance
A provision in the American Rescue Plan Act allows eligible individuals who received unemployment benefits in 2021 to enroll in coverage through Covered California for as low as $1 per month.
Californians who filed for unemployment benefits at any time during 2021 can check their eligibility with Covered California's quick calculator, and must be enrolled on-exchange to qualify. Here's how it works:
- Covered California will automatically apply the premium subsidy for individuals who qualify for assistance.
- Covered California and the Employment Development Department (EDD) will contact eligible unemployment recipients who do not have health insurance with Covered California. After applying, new coverage will begin on the first day of the next month.