@CoveredCA: New Data Shows How #AmRescuePlan Is Driving Down Costs & Helping More People Get Health Insurance

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via Covered California:

  • Covered California’s enrollment continues to surge — with 364,000 signing up since February, more than double normal enrollment rates — as more people sign up for coverage to benefit from the new savings and lower premiums available through the American Rescue Plan.
  • Lower-income households are getting a quality plan for an average of $35 per month, with more than 738,000 people getting brand-name plans for just $1 per month.
  • Middle-income consumers, who were previously ineligible for federal financial help, are saving an average of nearly $800 per month and seeing their monthly premiums reduced by more than 70 percent.
  • Covered California’s increased enrollment includes a higher proportion of African American and Latino Californians, two of the communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing recession.
  • Those who enroll by Aug. 31 would be insured starting Sept. 1.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California released new data on Thursday that highlights the positive impact the American Rescue Plan is having on the lives of Californians. The law builds on the Affordable Care Act to expand the amount of financial help available to consumers, helping people across all income brackets, by driving premiums down with more financial help than ever before.

“The American Rescue Plan is helping Californians get covered by building on the Affordable Care Act to increase financial help in meaningful ways,” said Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California.  “We are seeing clear evidence that the law is helping families by lowering premiums, increasing enrollment and addressing health disparities.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi hailed the results of the American Rescue Plan.

“During the pandemic, the president’s American Rescue Plan has delivered lower health costs for working families,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “We are fighting to build on this historic progress by making health care more accessible and affordable ‘For the People.’ I am grateful for Covered California’s leadership in helping families take advantage of the benefits in the Rescue Plan, and I look forward to our continued partnership to deliver on our shared belief that health care is a right and not a privilege.”

Record-High Enrollment

The American Rescue Plan has helped drive Covered California’s overall enrollment to a record-high 1.6 million people. The data shows that more than 364,000 people signed up for coverage between February and Aug. 10, which is more than two times higher than the same time period during the last special-enrollment period in 2019 that was not affected by the COVID-pandemic.

The pace of sign-ups has increased since Covered California began promoting the benefits of the American Rescue Plan on April 12. Enrollment since then is 164 percent higher than the same time period in 2019 and is 29 percent higher than 2020 at the height of the pandemic and recession (see Table 1: Covered California 2021 Special Enrollment Through Aug. 10).

Table 1: Covered California 2021 Special Enrollment Through Aug. 10

* Overall enrollment as of June 2021, compared to June 2020 and June 2019.

In addition, Covered California is seeing a higher proportion of consumers signing up who are African American or Latino, two communities hit hardest by the pandemic. 

“Coverage is a key part of addressing the nation’s history of health disparities, and the American Rescue Plan is the vital tool at the right time,” Lee said.                                           

​​​​Lower Premiums and Bigger Savings

The law is building on the Affordable Care Act to lower premiums and provide bigger savings for California households across all income brackets, making coverage more affordable and more accessible.

For lower-income households, which includes individuals making less than $25,520 a year and a family of four earning less than $52,400, the average monthly premium is now $35, which represents a roughly 95 percent savings off the average gross premium of $741 (see Table 2: Covered California Household Average Premium and Savings).

Many Californians are enjoying even lower premiums, as the new data shows that 738,000 people are currently enrolled in quality coverage through Covered California for just $1 per month, including two-thirds of those making less that 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL).

Eligible middle-income households making more than 400 percent FPL, some of whom were eligible for a California subsidy program starting in 2020 but who were previously ineligible for federal financial help, are saving an average of nearly $800 per month, as their premiums have been reduced by more than 70 percent. The income ranges for this bracket are between $51,040 to $76,560 for an individual and $104,800 to $157,200 for a family of four.

“These are the self-employed and the small-business owners that power our state, and the American Rescue Plan is using the Affordable Care Act to save them hundreds of dollars every month on their health care coverage,” Lee said.

Table 2: Covered California Household Average Premium and Savings

Income BracketAverage Gross PremiumAverage Net Premium (What Consumers Pay After Federal Subsidy)Average Savings

* See a breakdown of income brackets by dollar figures.

Some of the people benefiting from the American Rescue Plan are Erin Lubin and Jakob Mosur and their family. They work as professional photographers, and like many Californians, their business dried up during the pandemic.                                                         

Faced with a drastic drop in their income, they were able to get lower premiums through Covered California and the American Rescue Plan and keep their coverage.

“The pandemic has shown us that any family can have an unpredictable income due to forces beyond anyone’s control,” Lubin said. “We feel incredibly fortunate to have this access, and we know it is vitally important for families like ours, families with unpredictable income, to have the security and peace of mind that comes with access to quality, affordable health coverage.”

Californians Can Sign Up Now

Covered California is currently in a special-enrollment period, and consumers who need health insurance can sign up now and begin benefitting from the American Rescue Plan.

Consumers can easily find out if they are eligible for Medi-Cal or other forms of financial help and see which plans are available in their area by using the CoveredCA.Com Shop and Compare Tool and entering their ZIP code, household income and the ages of those who need coverage.

Those interested in learning more about their coverage options can also:

  • Visit www.CoveredCA.com.
  • Get free and confidential assistance over the phone, in a variety of languages, from a certified enroller.
  • Have a certified enroller call them and help them for free.
  • Call Covered California at (800) 300-1506.