April 1 (UPI) -- New health insurance premium subsidies through the Affordable Care Act became available Thursday to help millions of Americans afford medical coverage.
The new subsidies were part of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan and his administration announced in March that ACA enrollees could start taking advantage of the financial assistance on April 1. Some people who find their health insurance through state and federal marketplaces could save hundreds of dollars each month, officials said.
The stimulus package increases subsidies to those who were already eligible. About 15 million uninsured Americans will qualify for the financial assistance, as will those who have ACA coverage but earned too much to qualify for subsidies.
People who earn more than four times the federal poverty level are eligible for the subsidies. A single person earning about $51,520, or a family of four with a household income of $106,00 will get premium assistance for the first time.
The Department of Health and Human Services estimated that premiums will decrease an average of $50 a month per person. The department did not say how many people are expected to take advantage of the subsidies.
The fiscal aid is designed to help Americans afford healthcare during the coronavirus pandemic and the extra assistance will continue for two years.
The subsidies are estimated to provide coverage for 1.3 million uninsured Americans, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
The Biden administration has reopened ACA enrollment through the HealthCare.gov website, which will run through May 15. The federal exchange was created by the ACA in 2010 for Americans not covered by an employer or through a government plan like Medicare and Medicaid.