Understanding the American Rescue Plan and ACA Premium Subsidies for Unemployed Individuals

In recent months, there’s been a surge in discussions about cheaper health insurance premiums for unemployed individuals under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This surge has been amplified by the American Rescue Plan, which aims to lower healthcare costs for Americans who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

What is the American Rescue Plan?

The American Rescue Plan is a comprehensive COVID-19 relief legislation that was enacted in March 2021. Among its provisions, the plan provides financial assistance to those in need, including expanded health insurance premium subsidies through the ACA.

Expanded Premium Subsidies for the Unemployed

Under the American Rescue Plan, unemployed individuals and those with reduced income due to the pandemic may qualify for enhanced premium subsidies for ACA health insurance plans. These subsidies can lower monthly premiums, making health insurance more affordable.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the expanded premium subsidies, you must:

Be enrolled in a qualified health plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace
Have lost your job or had your income reduced due to the pandemic
Meet the income requirements set by the ACA

How to Apply

To apply for the expanded premium subsidies, you must complete an application through the Health Insurance Marketplace. During the application process, you will provide information about your income, household size, and current health insurance coverage.

Retroactive Subsidies

For the 2021 tax year, individuals who were eligible for the expanded premium subsidies but did not enroll in a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace may still claim the subsidies when they file their federal income taxes. This is done through Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit.

Important Considerations

The expanded premium subsidies are temporary and will expire after 2022.
The income requirements for eligibility may vary depending on the state you reside in.
If you qualify for employer-sponsored health insurance that is considered affordable, you will not be eligible for the ACA premium subsidies.


The American Rescue Plan provides financial assistance to unemployed individuals and those with reduced income, making it easier for them to access affordable health insurance. If you have lost your job or experienced a reduction in income due to the pandemic, you may qualify for the expanded ACA premium subsidies. By exploring your options through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you can secure affordable health coverage for yourself and your family.

If you need help understanding your eligibility or enrolling in a plan, it is advisable to consult with a licensed agent. They can guide you through the process and ensure you receive the maximum benefits available under the ACA.

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