Thanks to President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan passed in March, the Obamacare income limits have expanded in 2022. The expansion will help more people get access to affordable healthcare.
The ACA (Affordable Care Act), otherwise known as Obamacare, was passed in 2010 to provide a marketplace where Americans could find affordable health insurance plans. Since the marketplace opened in 2014, it has provided subsidies for health insurance for Americans who earned incomes that are 100 percent–400 percent of the FPL (Federal Poverty Level).
The subsidies were used to help reduce the cost of health insurance premiums for those who didn’t have insurance through their employers or Medicare and Medicaid.
The American Rescue Plan made Obamacare more accessible.
The American Rescue Plan changed all that by eliminating the “subsidy cliff” that capped subsidies at 400 percent of income. Under Biden’s American Rescue Plan, the limit has been raised to 500 percent of the FPL.
For example, the 2021 FPL was $12,880 for an individual. So, the highest income a person could earn and still receive Obamacare subsidies was $51,520, which is 400 percent over the FPL. However, for 2021 and 2022, an individual can earn up to $64,400, which is 500 percent over the FPL, and still receive subsidies.
For a family of four, the maximum income you can have to still receive a Obamacare subsidies for health insurance is $132,500.
Other provisions of the American Rescue Plan make sure that uninsured Americans don't pay more than 8.5 percent of their income for a “benchmark plan,” which is the second-lowest silver healthcare plan on the marketplace. Individuals on unemployment for at least a week can get a silver plan for $0 premiums.
The expanded income limits were approved for 2021 and 2022. However, if Biden’s Build Back Better plan is approved, the expanded subsidies could extend through 2025.
Over 4 million Americans have enrolled in Obamacare.
Almost 4.6 million people have enrolled in Obamacare since the 2022 open enrollment period started on Nov. 1, according to the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). With the help of the American Rescue Plan, consumers are getting healthcare coverage for $10 per month after tax credits doubled, the CMS said in a statement.
“We will keep saying it: health care in America should be a right, not a privilege. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to making life-saving health care accessible and affordable for everyone who needs it,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra in a statement.
Open enrollment deadlines are coming soon on Dec. 15 and Jan. 15.
Consumers have until Dec. 15 to choose a healthcare plan on the federal government website HealthCare.gov or a state-based marketplace that will start on January 1, 2022. If you miss that deadline, you will have until Jan. 15 to sign up for healthcare plans that start on Feb. 1.
"Affordability continues to drive enrollment during this Open Enrollment period, and we are excited to see so many individuals and families taking advantage of the many affordable and quality plans available," said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure