NEW YORK, NY—July 13, 2021—When President Joseph Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in March, health insurance became much more affordable for residents of New York State, according to a new analysis issued today by United Hospital Fund.
After years of neglect and hostility toward the 11-year-old Affordable Care Act (ACA) by Congress and the Trump Administration, the ARPA enhancements deepen existing subsidies and provide premium tax credits to higher-income individuals and families ineligible for financial help under the ACA.
The UHF HealthWatch brief, A Shot in the Arm: American Rescue Plan Act Boosts Health Coverage Affordability, provides “before and after” scenarios illustrating premium reductions and savings for consumers in Queens, Tompkins County in central New York, and Erie County in western New York. For example, an individual in Queens earning just over the eligibility limit for free coverage under New York’s Essential Plan (about $25,600) will see premiums at the NY State of Health marketplace decrease by over 75 percent, from $128 to $31 per month. A family of four at the same income level will save more than $2,300 annually with the lower ARPA premiums.
In lower-cost Erie County, a family with an income of about $65,500 annually will receive a 50 percent reduction in premiums, from $457 per month to $220. Savings for families earning slightly more than the ACA subsidy limit (about $104,800) are especially dramatic. In Tompkins County, family premiums drop from $1,899 per month to $746, producing annual savings of more than $13,700.
“Effective outreach and strong consumer assistance will be the keys to wringing the most out of the ARPA enhancements to the ACA,” said Peter Newell, director of UHF’s Health Insurance Project and author of the report. “NYSOH and its statewide network of coverage assistors and brokers have their work cut out for them, but they have a strong message to convey—health insurance coverage in New York just got more affordable.”
The HealthWatch report, made possible by a grant from The New York Community Trust, can be downloaded on UHF’s website here. It is the first in a two-part series on health coverage provisions in the ARPA. The next brief will focus on extra help for people who have lost their jobs or job-based health insurance.
About United Hospital Fund
United Hospital Fund works to build an effective and equitable health care system for every New Yorker. An independent, nonprofit organization, we are a force for improvement, analyzing public policy to inform decision-makers, finding common ground among diverse stakeholders, and developing and supporting innovative programs that improve health and health care. We work to dismantle barriers in health policy and health care delivery that prevent equitable opportunities for health. For more on our initiatives and programs please visit our website at www.uhfnyc.org and follow us on Twitter.