By Guy Furay
The last few months have been fairly monumental when it comes to changes in the healthcare industry. As an independent health insurance agency based in the Upstate of South Carolina, there are lot of things to share, but today we want to focus on a key change that affects almost 60,000 people in the state.
Under the new Affordable Care Act regulations as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, there are expanded premium tax credits available to people purchasing health coverage on the Marketplaces. Generally, these are only for people/families with incomes that fall between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level.
What is that in real dollars? Let us tell you. For example, a couple making $100,000 a year combined income can cut their insurance premiums in half under the new rules.
These subsidies work by capping what an enrollee must spend on a silver benchmark plan’s premium at no more than a certain percentage of the enrollee’s household income. The premium tax credit amount equals the difference between the actual benchmark plan premium for that individual and the required contribution. The tax credit can be applied to any level plan.
Additionally, there could be as many as 15 million uninsured people that could be getting subsidized coverage on the ACA Marketplaces but have not taken advantage of this financial help. In many cases, it may be that the financial help available to them is not sufficient to make the premium or the deductible affordable.
In South Carolina, about 499,600 residents, or 12% of the non-elderly population, do not have health insurance, according to the 2019 American Community Survey. About 59,700 uninsured South Carolinians are believed to be eligible because of the changes.
Individuals have until August 15, which also is a new, extended deadline, to enroll for a new insurance plan and see if they can save money.
Guy Furay is owner of the Insurance Source an independent brokerage specializing in health, life, disability and dental insurance. The Insurance Source has helped others protect what matters most since 2005 and is located in Greer, South Carolina. Learn more at www.theinsurancesourcesc.com.