The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (American Rescue Plan), passed by Congress and signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021, increases the opportunity for unprecedented numbers of Nevadans to receive subsidies, including Nevadans making over 400% of the federal poverty level.
It simultaneously reduces premiums for Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant health insurance plans sold through Nevada Health Link. Nevadans who have received unemployment insurance may also be able to take advantage of $0 premium plans sold on the Exchange.
- How does the American Rescue Plan help me to afford health insurance?
The American Rescue Plan lowers health insurance premiums through Nevada Health Link.
- I already get advanced premium tax credits (APTC) reductions/subsidies. Will my premiums go down?
Yes. The American Rescue Plan decreases your premiums even more. For example, if you are a 30-year-old resident with an annual income of $30,000 and already pay a reduced premium of $195/month for a silver plan, your monthly premium could go down to $85/month.
- I don’t qualify for APTC (premium tax credits) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Does the American Rescue Plan reduce my premiums?
Yes. The American Rescue Plan reduces your premiums so you will not pay more than 8.5% of your income on premiums. For example, if you are a 30-year-old resident with an annual income of $45,000 and already pay the full monthly premium of $327/month for a silver plan, your premium will go down to $274/month.
The ACA lowered premiums for people who had incomes up to 400% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL) -- $51,040 per year (or $104,800 per year for a family of 4). Having a higher income meant that you did not qualify for premium reductions under the ACA. The American Rescue Plan protects everyone. No one will pay more than 8.5% of their income on health insurance premiums, and those with incomes above 400% of FPL may now qualify for subsides This makes Exchange coverage more affordable for those who didn’t qualify previously and for those who qualified but were paying a larger percentage of their household income.
- I am in the U.S. on a Visa and don’t qualify for Medicaid coverage because of my visa status. Will my premiums for private health insurance go down?
Yes. Depending on your income, your premiums may be as low as $0/month. The American Rescue Plan includes visa holders who don’t qualify for Medicaid coverage.
- If I enroll, how long will my premium stay this low?
The increased subsidies (financial assistance to help lower the costs of health insurance) under the American Rescue Plan are for all of 2021 and all of 2022 unless Congress extends or makes the Plan permanent.
- What if my income changes?
Your monthly premium is based on your yearly estimated household income. If your income goes down, you may qualify for lower monthly premiums. If your income goes up, your monthly premium may go up. You will not pay more than 8.5% of your annual income on health insurance premiums - the 8.5% does not apply to those who are offered Employer Sponsored Coverage (ESC). It is always important to update your income information with any changes.
7. Do I have to enroll in a specific plan?
No. You can enroll in any plan – by metal tier level: bronze, silver, or gold– and apply the amount of monthly reductions you qualify for to the plan and insurance carrier of your choice. The American Rescue Plan calculates the amount of the reduction using the cost of the second lowest silver plan, your income, and your age to determine your monthly premium reductions.
- Will everyone enrolled on a Nevada Health Link plan premium be reduced?
No. Not everyone will qualify for monthly premium reductions because affordability is determined by the cost of the second lowest price silver plan, age, location, and income.
- I qualify for monthly premium reductions, but I chose to pay my full monthly premium instead. Can I claim the amount of reduced premiums during tax time when I file my taxes?
Yes. You can get the amount of reduced premiums when you file your taxes. When you do that, each month you will pay full price for premiums.
- When will the expanded and increased subsidies assistance be available on Nevada Health Link?
The new subsidy assistance and unemployment income rules are implemented into the Nevada Health Link platform and made available for consumers starting on April 20, 2021 and go through August 15, 2021. More information is available at: https://www.nevadahealthlink.com/americanrescueplan/
- I am currently enrolled in a health plan through Nevada Health Link and pay full price for my premiums. What do I have to do to lower my monthly premiums?
Starting April 20th, through your NevadaHealthLink.com account you will be able to provide income and household information and instantly find out if and how much your monthly premiums will decrease. You’ll also be able to apply those premium reductions and see your new premium. Existing Nevada Health Link consumers MUST log into their account and edit and resubmit their applications in order to receive new cost savings starting June 1, 2021. If you wait and do not edit your application, your subsidies will automatically be recalculated in our system with a June 1, 2021 effective date.
When does my new plan take effect?
If you are currently enrolled in a plan and choose to enroll in a new plan your effective date will be as follows:
Enrollment within 1st – 15th = 1st of the following month
Enrollment after the 15th of the month = 1st of the month after month following enrollment
Currently enrolled in Plan A Jan. 1, 2021 - Dec. 31, 2021
Cancels Plan A on April 21, 2021 = Cancellation will be May 31, 2021
Enrolls in Plan B on April 21, 2021 = Effective date will be June 1, 2021
- I am currently enrolled through Nevada Health Link and access subsidies. What do I have to do to lower my monthly premiums more?
In June of 2021, Nevada Health Link will automatically recalculate eligibility for customers who currently receive monthly premium reductions under the ACA. Based on the information you already provided, you will see lower monthly premiums automatically.
- I am currently not enrolled in a qualified health plan through Nevada Health Link. What do I do to get low monthly premiums provided by the American Rescue Plan?
Starting April 20th you can visit NevadaHealthLink.com and do a quick assessment to see how much increased or expanded Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTC) you may qualify for under the American Rescue Plan. To determine eligibility, you will need to provide information about your yearly household income and people applying within your household, find out how much your premiums will be reduced, select a health plan, and enroll. New consumers can enroll right now under a Special Enrollment Period and will be able to do so through August 15, 2021.
NEVADA HEALTH LINK PLANS FOR RESIDENTS WHO RECEIVED UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION IN 2021
1. How does the American Rescue Plan help me to afford private health insurance if I’ve been laid-off?
The American Rescue Plan makes health insurance on Nevada Health Link significantly more affordable for most consumers. Some consumers may be newly eligible for $0 premiums if they receive unemployment income in 2021.
2. Do I qualify if I received unemployment income in 2021?
Yes. You qualify if you received unemployment income any time in 2020 if you were approved to receive unemployment. You do not have to be currently receiving unemployment income when you apply for health insurance to receive the additional subsidies offered under ARPA.
3. Do I qualify if I am eligible for other coverage such as Medicaid, Medicare, or employer-sponsored coverage?
No. You do not qualify if you are eligible for other coverage such as Medicaid, Medicare, or affordable employer-sponsored coverage. If you are making anything 9.83% or below of income it is defined as affordable – and are able to purchase a full priced plan.
4. What type of unemployment income qualifies?
All types of approved unemployment income qualify in 2020. This includes Regular Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Extended Unemployment Compensation, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).
5. How long will my premiums stay low once I enroll?
The American Rescue Plan is currently a temporary stimulus plan that affects your health insurance plan through Nevada Health Link by expanding and increasing subsidy assistance. This is temporary (through August 15, 2021) unless Congress extends or makes permanent. The amount of premium consumers pay may change if consumer financial situations change.
6. I received unemployment income for at least one week in 2021, do I qualify?
To qualify for the unemployment rules and max calculation on subsidies, the Primary Tax Filer or Joint Filer must be the recipient of the unemployment income. Any other household member who received unemployment income would not qualify the entire household for the eligibility under the unemployment income rules.
7. Do I also qualify for lower deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance when I use my health plan?
Yes. You may also get cost sharing reductions, but you must select a silver metal level plan. When you enroll in any silver plan, you may not have annual deductibles and you will have very low copays and coinsurance when you use your benefits. If you enroll in a gold, silver or bronze plan, the regular deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance apply.
8. I’ve been laid off. How does the American Rescue Plan help me pay for my COBRA premiums?
The American Rescue Plan pays for 100% of your COBRA premiums.
9. What is COBRA?
COBRA is continuation health insurance coverage offered by employers with 20 or more employees. Federal law requires employers to provide this benefit. It lasts for 18 months for laid off workers.
10. Does the American Rescue Plan pay premiums for state or local COBRA?
Yes. The federal government will pay for federal COBRA premiums. This subsidy applies only to “assistance eligible individuals” who are eligible for COBRA as a result of an involuntary termination of employment or a reduction in hours and who are, or could have been, eligible for COBRA.
11. If I enroll in COBRA, how long will my COBRA premiums be paid for?
The federal government will pay your COBRA premiums through September 30, 2021.
12. I was laid off from my job. Do I qualify for the federal government to pay 100% of my COBRA premiums?
Yes. Because you were laid off, you qualify for the federal government to pay 100% of your COBRA premiums.
13. I am eligible for coverage through my new job. Do I qualify for the federal government to pay my COBRA premiums through my former employer?
No. You do not qualify if you are eligible for other employer-sponsored coverage.
14. I resigned from my job. Do I qualify for the federal government to pay 100% of my COBRA premiums?
No. Only people who are laid-off or had a reduction in hours qualify for the federal government to pay 100% of their COBRA premiums. Because you resigned, you do not qualify. If you were terminated for gross misconduct, you also do not qualify.