What’s the American Rescue Plan Act?

New relief bill may help you pay for health coverage

The 2021 American Rescue Plan Act is a coronavirus relief bill signed into law on March 11, 2021. It includes programs to help Americans recover from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who is Eligible?

Get help paying for health coverage

Whether you’re looking for new health coverage or want to continue your current coverage, the American Rescue Plan has different options that may help you with subsidies, tax credits, and other support.

Get started

  • To see if you now qualify for financial assistance through your health benefit exchange, enter your information in our calculator at buykp.org. External page.
  • To learn if you’re now eligible for additional support under COBRA continuation coverage, contact your current or former employer.

Who’s eligible?

Under the American Rescue Plan, more people now qualify for help paying for health coverage, including some who weren’t eligible before. You may qualify for more financial support for your health coverage if:

  • You get unemployment insurance benefits during any week in 2021.
  • You have or are eligible to get coverage through the health benefit exchange.
  • You currently qualify for COBRA continuation coverage due to job loss or reduction in hours.

To see if you now qualify for financial assistance through your health benefit exchange, enter your information in our calculator at buykp.org. External page.
 
To learn if you now qualify for more support through COBRA continuation coverage, contact your current or former employer.

How it works

Getting coverage through the health benefit exchange

Your eligibility depends on your household income. To find out if you’re eligible for financial assistance, enter your information in our calculator at buykp.org. External page. You may also apply at HealthCare.gov. External page. If your state has its own health benefit exchange, you’ll need to find your state’s website. External page. If you’re eligible for a subsidy, you must enroll in a plan through the health benefit exchange to receive the subsidy.

If you enrolled in a plan through a health benefit exchange before April 1, 2021, the new premium tax credits won’t be applied automatically. You’ll need to log into your account to find out if you’re eligible and apply.

If you enroll or change plans during the 2021 special enrollment period through August 15, 2021, your premium tax credits will be built into your coverage. The process varies by state.

If you already have health benefits and want to switch plans, check how much you’ve already paid toward your deductible for the calendar year. When you switch plans, what you’ve already paid on your current plan may not apply towards your new deductible and out-of-pocket maximum.

If you’re switching from a Kaiser Permanente individual or family plan that’s not on the health benefit exchange to one that is, the amount you’ve already paid on your current plan will count toward your new deductible. This won’t apply if you’re switching to or from an employer plan.

In most cases, you can apply on HealthCare.gov. External page. But if your state has its own website, you’ll apply on your state’s site. You can find your state’s health benefit exchange on HealthCare.gov. External page.

Getting continuation coverage under COBRA

If you have or are eligible for COBRA continuation coverage, you may now be eligible to have your premium fully covered for up to 6 months (April 2021 to September 2021). Contact your current or former employer to find out if you’re eligible.

If you’re eligible, your employer or former employer can let you know how to elect COBRA continuation coverage and get premium assistance. Some employers have COBRA administrators who may be able to answer specific questions. Once you’ve elected COBRA coverage, the federal government will pay your employer or health coverage company directly for up to 6 months (April 1, 2021, to September 30, 2021). And you won’t have to pay your employer for your coverage.

Yes, if your COBRA continuation coverage period is still in effect you can continue COBRA. Federal COBRA is typically offered to qualified beneficiaries for 18 months. If you keep your COBRA continuation coverage after September 30, 2021, you may have to pay the full amount of the premium. However, after September 30, 2021, you will qualify for a special enrollment period to enroll in coverage through the health benefit exchange. You may apply for and, if eligible, enroll in Medicaid coverage at any time.

Get started

To see if you now qualify for financial assistance through your health benefit exchange, enter your information in our calculator at buykp.org. External page.

To learn if you’re now eligible for additional support under COBRA continuation coverage, contact your current or former employer.

Helpful links

Have more questions about how to apply for financial support under the American Rescue Plan?
Call a Kaiser Permanente health care specialist at 1-800-270-4095 (TTY 711).

Get started

  • To see if you now qualify for financial assistance through your health benefit exchange, enter your information in our calculator at buykp.org. External page.
  • To learn if you’re now eligible for additional support under COBRA continuation coverage, contact your current or former employer.