Kauai News

Low Cost Public Health Plans Open to Many in Hawai´i

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra announced last week that 29,000 Hawai´i residents are eligible for low-premium plans through HealthCare.gov due to the American Rescue Plan signed by President Biden on March 11.

About 17,000 current enrollees and 12,000 uninsured adults can sign up for quality health coverage with low monthly premiums.

“We’re delivering lower health care costs to more Hawai´i residents because everyone deserves access to quality, affordable health care. Today, help is here – and people who are eligible for tax credits can start saving money on their health insurance premiums thanks to the American Rescue Plan,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.

“We have already seen more than half a million Americans nationwide gain quality affordable health care coverage through President Biden’s Special Enrollment Period. We are encouraging uninsured Hawai´i residents and current marketplace enrollees to visit HealthCare.gov to see if they qualify for enhanced financial assistance to purchase quality, affordable health coverage,” he continued.


The American Rescue Plan increased tax credits available to millions of consumers, reducing premiums and giving consumers access to affordable, quality health care coverage. An average of 4 out of 5 current HealthCare.gov consumers will be able to find a plan for $10 or less per month after advance payments of premium tax credits. President Biden opened access to an SEP on HealthCare.gov through Aug. 15, 2021, due to the continuing COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, allowing consumers to sign up for a health insurance plan outside of the yearly Open Enrollment Period. More than 500,000 Americans have already signed up for health coverage on HealthCare.gov under the SEP.

Nearly 15 million Americans who currently lack health insurance and many current enrollees are eligible to receive additional financial support in obtaining Marketplace coverage as part of the American Rescue Plan. Recent reports show gains in enrollment among historically uninsured communities, including Black consumers and individuals near the poverty level. Of applicants who identified a race, 17% identified as Black – compared to about 11% in both 2020 and 2019 during the same time period. Among consumers requesting financial assistance, 41% report being at or slightly above the federal poverty level, compared to 38% in 2020 and 33% in 2019.

Consumers who want to enroll in coverage and see if they qualify for more affordable premiums can visit HealthCare.gov or CuidadoDeSalud.gov to view 2021 plans and prices and, if eligible, enroll in a plan that best meets their needs. Additionally, consumers can call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596, which provides assistance in over 150 languages. TTY users can call 1-855-889-4325. Consumers can also find a local assister or agent/broker in their area by visiting: https://localhelp.healthcare.gov. Eligible consumers can apply through HealthCare.gov through August 15, 2021, to gain access to the Special Enrollment Period to change or update their plan choices.


To see how the American Rescue Plan will bring down health care costs and expand on the Affordable Care Act, visit: https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2021/03/12/fact-sheet-american-rescue-plan-reduces-health-care-costs-expands-access-insurance-coverage.html.

To learn more about Marketplace premiums for uninsured individuals and households for the states that use HealthCare.gov, visit: https://aspe.hhs.gov/pdf-report/access-to-low-premiums-issue-brief-part-II.

To learn more about Marketplace premiums for current HealthCare.gov enrollees, visit: https://aspe.hhs.gov/pdf-report/access-to-low-premiums-issue-brief-part-III


For more information on the March enrollment report, visit: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/2021-marketplace-special-enrollment-period-report-0.

For more information about the Health Insurance Marketplace®[1], visit: https://www.healthcare.gov/quick-guide/getting-marketplace-health-insurance/.


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