More New York residents will be eligible for financial assistance and lower health insurance premiums as part of a federal stimulus package, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in late March.
Residents will have access to expanded tax credits through New York’s health plan marketplace, NY State of Health, Cuomo announced in a press release. The credits and reduced premiums are a product of the American Rescue Plan, which President Joe Biden signed into law on March 11.
Biden first announced the plan to combat widespread economic insecurity as a result of the pandemic. In addition to the expansion of tax credits, the plan covers a wide variety of other measures, such as stimulus payments to individual citizens and financial support for colleges and universities.
Here’s a breakdown of how the American Rescue Plan will impact health insurance in New York state:
Beginning early April, increased federal tax credits, which reduce the amount individuals are required to pay in federal tax, will be available for low- and moderate-income consumers. Individuals with an annual income up to about $51,000 per year and families of four with an income up to around $105,000 will be eligible for lower costs on qualified health plans.
People at these income levels already using NY State of Health will have to update their information through the organization. NY State of Health will update its system to automatically apply the enhanced tax credits for eligible consumers and make higher-income individuals eligible by June.
Donna Frescatore, NY State of Health executive director, said in the release that the organization was working to get enhanced tax credits to New York residents “as quickly and seamlessly as possible” to respond to the economic burden of the pandemic.
Extension of the open enrollment period
NY State of Health will extend the open enrollment period for residents, meaning that consumers will now have until Dec. 31 to enroll in health coverage.
On Feb. 17, Cuomo announced that the state would extend the open enrollment period to May 15. The original extension was in response to Biden’s Feb. 15 executive order to allow more time for U.S. residents to enroll in health insurance and reopen enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, an Obama-era piece of legislation that expanded healthcare eligibility back in 2010.
Individuals eligible for other NY State of Health plans, such as Medicaid, Essential Plan and Child Health Plus, can enroll year-round.
Lower health insurance premiums
Depending on enrollment levels, New York residents could receive an additional $700 million in tax credits in 2021 as a result of the American Rescue Plan, according to the press release.
The state has made more than $4.4 billion available to residents to lower the cost of health plans purchased through NY State of Health since the ACA was passed. Between 2013 and 2019, the uninsured population of the state has been reduced from 10% to 5%, according to the release.
Cuomo said he was confident that New York’s new measures will result in lower healthcare premiums than ever before, which he believes should be a priority.
“Access to high-quality affordable health insurance is crucial at any time, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more important to make sure New Yorkers are insured in case they face the virus or other health issues,” Cuomo said in the release.
Published on April 7, 2021 at 11:01 pm