HELENA — Thousands of Montanans who buy individual health insurance on the “Obamacare” marketplace – and some who don’t, but can now – are likely eligible for lower pricing of their coverage, insurance and health officials say.
Starting Thursday, anyone with an Obamacare policy – about 45,000 Montanans – can re-submit their personal information to see if they’re eligible for lower pricing.
And, those eligible for the coverage but who don’t have it because it may have been too expensive have until August 15 to enroll, and likely will get subsidies that could make the coverage affordable.
“These expanded subsidies will make coverage more affordable right away for almost everyone who wants marketplace insurance,” said Jeremy Smith, program director for MT Navigator.
The expanded subsidies are part of the American Rescue Plan, the federal COVID-19 relief bill signed earlier this month by President Biden.
Federal health officials said that, on average, people enrolled in coverage will have their premiums reduced by $50 to $85 per month, retroactive to January 1 – but only if they re-apply. Those who don’t reapply, however, would still get the reduction when they file their 2022 federal taxes.
Unemployed Montanans who need coverage, or have coverage already, also will get maximum subsidies, meaning they will pay little or no premiums for the coverage, said state Auditor Troy Downing.
Downing also noted that the American Rescue Plan eliminated the income cap for those eligible for subsidies, so anyone needing individual insurance (and who is not eligible for other coverage, such as Medicare or an employee group plan) can now apply via the online marketplace and expect to get subsidies.
Under prior law, subsidies were available only for those earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, or $51,520 for a single person.
Montanans who want to inquire about or apply for the coverage changes can go to www.healthcare.gov, contact an insurance agent or call MT Navigator at 406-430-0005.Thousands of Montanans who buy individual health insurance on the “Obamacare” marketplace – and some who don’t, but can now – are likely eligible for lower pricing of their coverage, insurance and health officials say.