New, lower costs will make health insurance more affordable
Waterbury, VT – Tens of thousands of Vermonters can now pay less for health insurance purchased through Vermont’s health insurance marketplace. The health insurance marketplace is the place for individuals and families to shop for and enroll in health insurance. Vermonters can learn more about the new lower costs by visiting VermontHealthConnect.gov, calling the Customer Support Center, or contacting trained, local professionals to help them through the Assister program.
The federal American Rescue Plan Act lowers health insurance costs for Vermonters who enroll through Vermont’s health insurance marketplace, Vermont Health Connect. The Department of Vermont Health Access has completed the system changes needed to implement the law’s provisions. Now, more than $25 million in new federal dollars are available to Vermonters who buy health plans through the marketplace.
Notably, the law’s implementation adds protections for people with incomes above the Affordable Care Act’s “subsidy cliff” for 2021 and 2022. Vermont policymakers have long advocated for changes to make health insurance more affordable for more people. This new structure marks progress toward Governor Phil Scott’s priorities of making Vermont more affordable and protecting the most vulnerable.
“Vermonters who previously weren’t eligible for financial help could see their monthly bills cut in half,” said the State’s director of health care reform, Ena Backus. “Before the American Rescue Plan Act, a Vermonter earning $55,000 didn’t qualify for financial help. The lowest-cost plan would have cost them $491 per month. Now, they can get this same plan for $211.”
“The American Rescue Plan Act is changing assumptions about the cost of health insurance,” said Adaline Strumolo, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access. “Don’t assume
health insurance is out of reach just because it was in the past. Visit the Plan Comparison Tool at VermontHealthConnect.gov and see the difference for yourself.”
The Department of Vermont Health Access plans to hold Virtual Town Hall meetings over the summer to ensure information related to the American Rescue Plan Act’s lower health insurance costs reaches all Vermonters.
Until the Virtual Town Hall meetings kick off on July 7, here are 3 top facts Vermonters should know about the American Rescue Plan Act and its impact on purchasing health insurance through Vermont’s health insurance marketplace. Visit dvha.vermont.gov to see all 12 facts and learn more!
- Don’t assume your income is too high to get help.
Income eligibility thresholds are much higher now. People in single plans with incomes up to $94,500 and those in family plans with incomes up to $265,000 may qualify for financial help. Did you or someone in your household get unemployment in 2021? You may get the most help, no matter how much you make.
- There’s a lot more financial help now.
Don’t assume health insurance is too expensive just because you looked in the past. Individuals with income up to $38,000 per year and couples with income up to nearly $60,000 may qualify for plans with $0 monthly premiums. Is your income higher? Want to see your costs? Visit the Plan Comparison Tool.
- The law gives extra benefits to people who were eligible for unemployment compensation in 2021.
Was someone in your household eligible for regular Unemployment Compensation or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation? Extended Unemployment Compensation or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance? You may qualify for an Enhanced Silver 94 plan. These plans have the lowest out-of-pocket costs. See the Unemployment Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for more information.
Whether you are enrolled in insurance through Vermont’s health insurance marketplace, Vermont Health Connect, are enrolled directly with an insurance company, or don’t currently have insurance, find your next steps in the American Rescue Plan Act FAQ at VermontHealthConnect.gov or call 1-855-899-9600.
About the State’s health insurance marketplace, Vermont Health Connect:
The Department of Vermont Health Access (DVHA), within the State of Vermont's Agency of Human Services, is responsible for administering Vermont's marketplace for health insurance. The Department coordinates a range of health insurance plan options and offers online, telephone, paper and in-person assistance for Vermonters who are applying for health insurance. Visit dvha.vermont.gov or VermontHealthConnect.gov to learn more.