On March 11, 2021, President Biden will sign into law the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319). The wide-ranging, critically needed COVID-19 relief legislation includes a number of key provisions that strengthen both public and private health insurance coverage. Some of the new provisions build on actions Congress previously took in earlier COVID relief packages including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (116-127).
Among its Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provisions, the American Rescue Plan encourages states to finally take up the Medicaid expansion by offering even more favorable financial incentives than those already in place and allows states to provide longer postpartum health coverage for new mothers. Among its private insurance provisions, the American Rescue Plan provides full premium subsidies for COBRA coverage, substantially increases subsidies for the purchase of health plans offered through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces, and targets additional marketplace subsidies to those receiving unemployment benefits.
This issue brief explains the American Rescue Plan’s Medicaid, CHIP and private insurance provisions.