Early in the new year of 2021, the Biden Administration implemented The American Rescue Plan (ARP) with the intent of reducing health care costs and expanding access to health insurance plans.
There are currently over 9 million Americans accessing health care through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace, which provides subsidized plans with lower premiums based on household income. Their goal is for there to be at least a few plan options available to every consumer at a monthly premium no more than 8.5% of their household income.
- Uninsured couples earning over $70,000 annually could save more than $1,000 per month on their premium
- A family of four making $90,000 annually will see their premiums decrease by $200 per month
- A single individual making $19,000 annually will be able to find health insurance coverage with no monthly premium at all, saving roughly $66 per month on average
This plan also introduced an extended Open Enrollment Period that in past years ended on December 15th for the coverage to be effective the following year. For 2021, that new period was from January 15th-May 15th but has now been extended even further to August 15th and coverage can be effective on the 1st of the following month.
The ARP is reevaluating the level of subsidy that Americans qualify for based on their income. Those with new or existing Marketplace plans can visit www.healthcare.gov or call the Marketplace directly to confirm whether or not their tax credit will be increased, resulting in lower out of pocket monthly premium responsibility for the insured. You can also wait until you file your 2021 taxes next year to get the additional premium tax credit amount. However, it is recommended that you update your application and review your plan options during the allotted period up until August 15th.
There is something to keep in mind regarding coverage if you change plans during this time. It is important to consider the new plan’s deductible as it’ll likely start over. If you change plans or add a new household member, any out-of-pocket costs you already paid on your current 2021 Marketplace plan probably won’t count towards your new deductible, even if you stay with the same insurance company.
These are variables that a licensed agent or Marketplace representative can discuss as they pertain to specific situations. The website again for resources regarding the Affordable Care Act is www.healthcare.gov.
Have you ever thought or said to yourself that you don’t NEED disability insurance? Think your job is low key enough that injury or illness couldn’t ever limit you from working? Do you feel like you’d be able to manage paying for your lifestyle and bills with no income, even just temporarily?
These are all valid questions and pretty important ones to spend some time on. Of course like all insurance, disability (or “income replacement” as some may refer to it as) is protection against the unknown and a bit of a gamble. But similar to life insurance, it’s peace of mind for your spouse or family – or even just yourself – that in the event you are sick or hurt in a way that you’re unable to work, you can still have some financial means to cover your obligations.
Before you can decide if you need this protection, you need to understand what your options are. There are two main types of disability insurance:
- SHORT TERM
- Covers 40-60% of your base salary
- Can last from a few weeks to a year
- Short waiting period for coverage to kick in
- LONG TERM
- Covers 50-70% of your base salary
- Benefits are much longer, typically to age 65-70
- 90 day waiting period after onset of disability
We challenge you to check out these interesting stats on disability insurance and ask yourself honestly if you still believe you don’t need it:
- 1 in 4 people will become disabled during their working career… 1 in 4!
- Only 48% of Americans have enough saved to cover 3 months of living expenses with no income
- 90% of disabilities come from unpredictable health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, lupus and MS
- 52% of disabled individuals without coverage took more than 2 years to recover financially
If insurance can be required to cover material things such as your home and car, you really should consider your paycheck something worth protecting too.
The cost of Medicare can seem confusing but it’s really quite simple. Because it is very case-by-case for each individual’s situation, this is a very brief guide to reference Medicare premiums in 2021. Part A, which is for hospital coverage, has $0 premium regardless of who is qualifying or what their income and employment status is. Part B, however, is determined by income level and how taxes are filed. This chart shows the different brackets for each and the current premiums for 2021.
|File Individual Tax Return||File Joint Tax Return||File Married & Separate Returns||2021 Monthly Premium|
|$88k or less||$176k or less||$88k or less||$148.50|
|$88k – $111k||$176k – $222k||N/A||$207.90|
|$111k – $138k||$222k – $276k||N/A||$297.00|
|$138k – $165k||$276k – $330k||N/A||$386.10|
|$165k – $500k||$330k – $750k||$88k – $412k||$475.20|
|$500k or above||$750k or above||$412k or above||$504.90|
This chart is specific to Florida Blue’s current Advantage Plan and Plan G supplement but may also be helpful to show the estimated cost of both routes you can go if purchasing additional coverage to Parts A and B.
|Medical Coverage||Medical Coverage|
|Monthly Premium: $47.90||Monthly Premium: $180.60 (Plan G at age 65)|
|Part A: $0||Part A: $0|
|Part B: contingent on income (see above)||Part B: contingent on income (see above)|
|Prescription Drug Coverage||Standalone Part D|
|Monthly Premium: included in plan||Monthly Premium: $73.70|
|Deductible: $250||Deductible: $405|
$47.90 (+ Part B)
$254.30 (+ Part B)
|Includes copays & coinsurance.|
Out of pocket max: $6,500 in network/$10,000 out of network
|Part B deductible ($203) must be met.|
No copays or coinsurance.