If you are on an individual health insurance plan through the Washington Health Plan Finder, there is important information you need to know. In March of 2021 The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was passed. This new Act affects subsidies people receive as tax credits to assist in paying their Individual Health Plan Premiums. These subsidies will be enhanced for 2021 and 2022 for most residents. For example, a single 40-year-old, with an annual income of $30,000 and already paying a reduced premium of $195 a month for a Silver Plan, will have a premium reduction down to $85 a month.
Details of the act are constantly evolving, our team at VibrantUSA can help you navigate how these changes impact you and your family. Here is what we know:
- Individuals currently enrolled through the Washington Health Plan Finder; it is very important to update your account no later than May 1 to receive the benefits. The new benefits will automatically be adjusted in May.
- For those currently on the Washington Health Plan finder, you should have received an email notice with information pertaining to the new program last week. Further information regarding updated premiums is expected to be sent out the week of May 8– May 15.
- If you received Tax Credits for 2020 and under reported your income to the exchange, you do not have to pay the tax penalty for overpayment of tax credits. You will want to consult your CPA/Tax Preparer for details. If 2020 tax returns have already been filed, you may need to file an amendment to your return.
- Tax Credits are only available through the Washington Health Plan Finder. If you are currently enrolled directly through an Insurance Company, or if you have no insurance right now, you need to create an account and enroll into a plan in order to receive the enhanced tax credits to help pay those premiums.
- If you receive Unemployment Benefits any week in 2021, you will be eligible for maximum tax credits unless you already qualify for Apple Health, Medicare or employer-sponsored coverage.
- The Washington Health Plan finder announced they are extending the special enrollment period through August 15. This allows those on and off the exchange as well as uninsured individuals the opportunity to purchase a plan directly through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.
Bottom line: it is important to keep information in your Washington Health Plan Finder account up to date. If your account is not updated before May 1st, you may not receive the maximum available benefit starting in June. The Washington Health Plan Finder will automatically be re-calculating monthly premium tax credits based on the information provided in early-May. This includes changes in income, unemployment income, dependents, etc. The tax credits will go into effect June 1 for those who are eligible. As we mentioned, the details of the Act are constantly evolving, contact your agent at VibrantUSA for more information and help with your account.