The federal government has been tossing changes toward our industry at a rapid pace during 2021. So rapid that even I, your friendly healthcare economist who keeps up with changes for a living, sometimes struggle to do so.
So, this latest change, which is VERY powerful, has flown a bit under the radar. Let’s review it quickly, so you can move on it if it applies to you. It literally could put thousands of dollars’ worth of free health insurance coverage into your pocket today.
Good News for the Unemployed
As part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA21), Congress approved a program to help people who draw ANY unemployment during any month of 2021, get free or nearly free health insurance on healthcare.gov. This applies to their household members, too!
And it’s well underway. It started on July 1, 2021, and covers the rest of this year.
So, Mike, how do I access this coverage?
So easy. If you have drawn any unemployment this year, or you know you are GOING to draw any unemployment benefits this year, even if only for a week, you’re in. You can contact an agent at 1-844-Get Blue and they will walk you through the process, or you can take a peek yourself on healthcare.gov.
I just did a mock application myself.
I put in a 60-year-old male (yeah, that’s me soon!) and just for grins, put in a high income ($100,000/year) and checked the “Yes” box to say I was getting unemployment income. And what do you think I saw?
I qualified for FOUR Silver plans, all with premiums from $0 to $48 a month, and no deductibles higher than $200!!! Just because I clicked the unemployment button!
This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime deal. I have friends and family members who were stuck on unemployment early this year as we waited for that third wave of COVID to wane. Many businesses were still closed, and we didn’t know WHAT was going to happen. I’ll be checking on them today to make sure they know this opportunity is here.
The Straight Talk is, if you are not getting an offer of health insurance from your employer (whether you are unemployed or back to work) AND you got unemployment benefits at any time in 2021, you can qualify for free or nearly free Silver plans on healthcare.gov. This is high-quality insurance from carriers like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Vantage Health just waiting for you!
Don’t let this benefit go to waste! It’s only good through Dec. 31, 2021.