1 million saw health care costs lowered to $10 a month under American Rescue Plan


The Biden administration said Monday more than 1 million people are taking advantage of new tax credits that lower the cost of health insurance premiums.

New tax credits created by the coronavirus relief package signed by President Joe Biden in March lowered the cost of health care for millions of people, with more than 1 million now paying $10 or less per month in premiums, according to a report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that was released on Monday.

The American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion virus relief package that not a single congressional Republican voted for, included $35.5 billion to help lower the premiums for insurance plans that are part of the Affordable Care Act marketplace. The changes to the ACA, also known as Obamacare, made some people eligible for subsidies when they previously were not and also increased the amount of subsidies some could receive.

The report out Monday found that since April 1, when the new tax credits went into effect, more than 2.3 million people "returned to the Marketplace and reduced their monthly premiums ... by over 40%." That means the average monthly premium dropped to $61 from $103, per the report.

More than 1 million of those customers now pay $10 or less per month in insurance premiums, according to a release from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Biden has sought to make health care easier to access since he took office in January.

Aside from pushing for the more affordable premiums in the virus relief package, he also re-opened the Obamacare marketplace for a special enrollment period to allow those who did not have health insurance to obtain it during the COVID-19 pandemic. Donald Trump had refused to re-open the Obamacare marketplace during the pandemic.

More than 1.2 million people took advantage of that enrollment period to sign up for an Obamacare plan, according to the CMS report.

Republicans in Congress tried to thwart the bill that included the health care subsidy relief.

That came after the GOP waged a failed attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare through Congress back in 2017.

A group of Republican-controlled states filed a lawsuit in 2018 to nullify Obamacare altogether — which could rip health care away from more than 20 million Americans in the middle of a global pandemic.

The Trump administration supported the lawsuit and even asked the Supreme Court to nullify Obamacare in a filing in June 2020 — in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. That lawsuit is currently pending before the Supreme Court.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.