Millions of New Yorkers have benefitted from access to affordable Marketplace health insurance coverage since March 2020 thanks to flexibilities permitted during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) as well as enhanced tax credits available under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) that are set to expire in 2022, absent congressional action to extend them. These policies ensure that consumers have the security of affordable, comprehensive health coverage during the uncertain time of unemployment/loss of income, assuring access to health care when it is needed most. A successful transition from the PHE should include the extension of the ARPA subsidies, thereby smoothing the affordability “cliff” for individuals moving from premium-free Medicaid or Essential Plan coverage to a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) with monthly premiums and cost sharing arrangements. Without these enhanced subsidies, New York’s uninsured rate is expected to rise, reversing progress made since the start of the pandemic.
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