How you may be able to save with new, lower costs on the federal Marketplace
With the passing of the American Rescue Plan in March of 2021, changes included new, lowered costs for Marketplace health insurance coverage. Learn more about how you may qualify for lower premiums, even if you’ve never qualified for discounts on health insurance in the past.
Why is there more access to affordable coverage through the Marketplace?
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, making more people eligible to receive financial assistance for health care coverage, housing and unemployment, among other relief areas.
Since April 2021, Sanford Health Plan has helped people save an average of $50 to $70 on their monthly premium through individual Marketplace coverage, which varies based on income and household size. Although the extended special enrollment period (SEP) closed on Aug. 15, people can still apply for Marketplace coverage if they have a qualifying life event or during the annual open enrollment, which starts Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 15. Those who sign up during this time have coverage effective Jan. 1, 2022 or Feb 1, 2022.
How do I know if I qualify?
By applying for individual Marketplace coverage, you can find out if you qualify for more tax credits. This could lower your monthly premium. To apply for coverage, visit healthcare.gov, call (800) 318-2596 or let us connect you to a local agent in your area by calling (888) 501-4560. You can also use a calculator tool to see an estimate of what your plan could cost, depending on your income range.
How do I know if I qualify for a Special Enrollment Period?
Outside of the annual open enrollment period, you’re eligible to sign up for health insurance if you qualify for a SEP due to a life event, such as after changing jobs, getting married or having a baby. Typically, you have 60 days from the life event to enroll in a new plan. Use this tool on healthcare.gov to see if you qualify for a SEP.
What if I already have a Marketplace plan?
Even if you already have an individual plan in place, you can log into your account and update your application and enrollment to see your new eligibility results. If your results show that you qualify for extra tax credits, you can reselect your current plan and the changes will take effect for the rest of the year.
One potential drawback is that your deductible will likely start over, so contact your insurance company before changing plans or adding a new household member. They’ll be able to determine if you’ll need to start over to meet your plan’s new deductible.
Tip: It’s important to remember that if you experience a life event, you’ll need to update your Marketplace information. A good rule of thumb is if your tax return would change, then information on the Marketplace would also need to be updated.
What if I’m already approved for unemployment compensation in 2021?
Starting July 1, 2021, through the end of the year, anyone approved for unemployment compensation in 2021 is eligible for a tax credit to cover their entire monthly premium, regardless of household income. To see if you qualify, make sure your Marketplace application is up to date.
How can Sanford Health Plan help?
By connecting you with a local insurance agent, we can guide you step-by-step through the Marketplace and help you understand your options and the finer details of each plan. To give you a premium estimate, your agent will likely ask for your household size, income, age and tobacco use. Best of all, working with an agent does not cost you anything.