News & Events
Affordable Care Act Marketplace Open Enrollment Extended, New Benefits Added
By American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
Family & Children's Service Healthcare Access Service
offers expert Marketplace advice to all Tennesseans
NASHVILLE, TENN. – May 2021 – Tennesseans still looking for affordable health insurance can now enroll in Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace plans now through Aug. 15 and potentially take advantage of new cost savings thanks to changes signed into law by President Biden.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) and subsequent changes by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services extended the enrollment period until August 15 to give consumers additional time to take advantage of new savings created by ARPA.
Aram Khoshnaw, Senior Director, Healthcare Access Services at Family & Children's Service, encourages anyone who still needs health insurance to consider the ACA Marketplace.
“ARPA significantly changed how Family & Children’s Service (F&CS) can help more Tennesseans struggling to find quality health insurance,” said Khoshnaw. “Even those who already have a Marketplace coverage could qualify for additional discounts with the recent changes.”
Free and expert advice from the F&CS Healthcare Access Services team is available to anyone at www.GetCoveredTenn.org or by phone at 1-866-475-7879. On the GetCoveredTenn website, run by the trusted nonprofit F&CS, users can schedule an appointment to review options.
Khoshnaw emphasized that Marketplace coverage is provided by health insurance companies not the federal government. The Marketplace is simply a mechanism for making insurance more available and affordable. However, sometimes navigating all the information about eligibility can be difficult for many people not familiar with the insurance industry. That is where the F&CS Healthcare Access Services team steps in to help.
While almost anyone can purchase coverage in the Marketplace, the eligibility for tax credits is generally available to those who cannot get insurance through an employer and whose income is equal to or less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level, which equates to $51,040 for a single individual and $104,800 for a family of four. Tax credits are paid directly to the insurance company and reduce the overall insurance cost for customers.
According to the federal government, four out of five Marketplace customers can get a plan for $10 per month or less with financial assistance.
ARPA also enacted provisions allowing anyone who received unemployment benefits in 2021 can qualify for free or discounted Marketplace coverage. Additionally, people whose income was too high to qualify for financial help in the past may now be eligible for premium discounts.
Consumers enrolling in a plan on HealthCare.gov are guaranteed to receive comprehensive coverage, with no pre-existing condition exclusions or markups. All plans cover essential benefits, including doctor and hospital visits, prescription drugs, mental health treatment, and maternity care. In addition, consumers receive free preventive care services, such as vaccines and health screenings. Testing and treatment of COVID-19 are considered essential health benefits and are covered by all HealthCare.gov plans.