Monday, March 29, 2021

Des Moines, Iowa – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced recently that additional federal premium tax credits will be available to individuals purchasing their own health insurance directly through the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) marketplace (healthcare.gov).  The increased federal premium tax credits may result in lower premium amounts paid by Iowans.

New consumers and current enrollees who submit an application and select a plan on or after April 1 will receive the increased federal premium tax credits for 2021 and 2022 marketplace coverage.  By using tax credits, individuals purchasing their own health insurance directly through healthcare.gov can further reduce their premium costs towards the purchase of a health care plan.

“Iowans who have already purchased their own coverage through the marketplace are encouraged to update their information on healthcare.gov on or after April 1 to recalculate their costs based upon the increased federal premium tax credits,” Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said.  “These changes, coupled with the special enrollment period that runs through August 15, will make these insurance plans more affordable as Iowans recover economically from the pandemic.

“As a result of the economic impact of the pandemic, Medicaid has been there as a safety net.  During 2020, Iowa’s Medicaid participation grew by roughly 80,000 individuals.  But as we come out of the pandemic, we know Iowans want the opportunity to resume family supporting economic growth.  These premium tax credits may help some Iowans to afford health coverage as they economically recover from the pandemic and their incomes move them above eligibility for Medicaid.  Iowans considering individual plans should talk with a licensed insurance agent to thoroughly research all coverage options to determine the best plan for themselves and their families.

“While these changes at the federal level don’t fix - and in fact, may exacerbate - the structural flaws of the ACA that cause overall premiums to be high, these changes do provide Iowans with additional federal resources to help obtain health insurance coverage.  Even with these changes, we encourage bipartisan, thoughtful solutions in Congress that will bring more younger, healthier individuals into the ACA individual market.”

During the special enrollment period that began February 15 and runs through August 15, Iowans may call 1-800-318-2596 or visit healthcare.gov for information regarding enrollment and to calculate applicable tax credits.

Local insurance agents, assisters and navigators are available to help Iowans review which insurance plan may best fit their needs.  Iowans can find local help by visiting https://localhelp.HealthCare.gov/.

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