Sunday, April 4, 2021 | 2 a.m.
With President Joe Biden signing the American Rescue Plan into law on March 11, help is finally on the way for millions of Americans, including those in Nevada. The bill includes much-needed relief for consumers when it comes to health insurance costs, and at the center of this legislation is historic expansion of the Affordable Care Act and its marketplaces across the country, improving accessibility and affordability.
While many Nevadans will see relief under this bill, work remains to bring down costs for all consumers when it comes to their health insurance. In fact, only those in Nevada who get their plans via the health care marketplace, including small businesses of 1-50 that utilize the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), will see any relief and, even then, it will only affect their insurance premiums, not out-of-pocket costs like co-pays and deductibles.
An estimated 23.6 million Americans with employer-based coverage have high premium contributions that amount to 10% or more of their annual household income or pay high-out-of-pocket costs that amount to 10% or more of their annual household income.
A recent survey from ALG-POS even found that 80% of Americans agree that their health care costs keep going up every year, and more than 70% are struggling with the unpredictability of out-of-pocket costs. The American Rescue Plan was a critical first step, but our leaders must now address consumers’ concerns when it comes to all of these health care costs.
The writer is chairman of the board of directors at the Urban Chamber of Commerce Las Vegas.