What are the key parts of this bill that affect healthcare consumers?

Larger Subsidies

Everyone who currently receives a subsidy will qualify for bigger subsidies.  The size of the increase will depend on county, age, and income as a percentage of the Federal Poverty Level. More than a few current plan options may now cost consumers $0 per month.

More People May Qualify for The Subsidies

Many people who didn’t qualify for subsidies because their income was too high (Previously, household income above $51,000 for a single person and above $104,800 for a family of four didn’t qualify) will now qualify for subsidies.

Subsidy Changes Are Retroactive  

These subsidies are ​retroactive to January 1st, 2021.

No Cost Coverage for Those on Unemployment

People receiving unemployment compensation at any point in 2021 will qualify for full premium subsidies and Cost Sharing Reductions or CSRs.  CSRs reduce what consumers have to pay in medical out-of-pocket expenses like deductibles and copays. This provision of the Rescue Plan will end at the end of 2021.

Cobra May Be Covered At 100% for Some

People who were involuntarily terminated and offered COBRA will have their premiums covered for free until September 30, 2021.

Subsidy Increases Are Effective For At Least Two Years

These changes are currently approved for two years.  Congress will need to take further action to keep them around longer than that.

For more information go to CMS’s fact sheet on the American Rescue Plan.