COVID Relief Package Could Also Boost Coverage, Help Insurers

COVID-19 relief legislation under consideration by key committees in the House of Representatives includes provisions aimed at helping Americans afford health insurance, many of which could be beneficial to consumers and health insurance organizations alike.

A proposal from the House Ways and Means committee would alter Affordable Care Act subsidies, effective only in 2021 and 2022, to ensure that no marketplace enrollee pays more than 8.5% of their income on premiums. That would mean that people earning above 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL) would be eligible for ACA subsidies for the first time. People with income below 150% of the FPL also would see the premiums for a benchmark ACA plan (the second-lowest cost silver-tier plan) fully subsidized.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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