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American Rescue Plan Act FAQ

NEW Financial Help Through Vermont Health Connect

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (American Rescue Plan) gives Vermont Health Connect customers more financial help to lower monthly health insurance premium bills.  

MONTHLY PREMIUM BILL REDUCTIONS FOR VERMONT HEALTH CONNECT CUSTOMERS IN 2021 AND 2022

How does the American Rescue Plan help me to afford qualified health plans?

The American Rescue Plan increases the financial help you can get when you enroll in a qualified health plan through Vermont Health Connect. Financial help includes premium tax credits. If you choose to take your premium tax credits in advance, your monthly premium bill will go down. If you choose to claim your premium tax credits at the end of the year when you file taxes, you will pay the full cost of your health insurance premium each month.

I already get advance premium tax credits. Will my monthly premium bill go down?

Yes. The American Rescue Plan gives you more advance premium tax credits, so your monthly premium bill will go down.

The American Rescue Plan was signed into law on March 10, 2021, and Vermont Health Connect is still working out the details and timing for this change. The newest information will be posted to this page first, so please check back soon!

I’ve been told I make too much money to get financial help from Vermont Health Connect. Does the American Rescue Plan change that? 

Yes. The American Rescue Plan makes sure you can spend less than 8.5% of your household income on health insurance premiums when you enroll in a qualified health plan through Vermont Health Connect.

Before the American Rescue Plan Act of March 2021, the ACA lowered premiums for people with incomes up to 400% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL)—or about $51,040 per year for a single person in 2021. Having a higher income meant you didn’t qualify for financial help from Vermont Health Connect. The new American Rescue Plan protects everyone enrolled in a qualified health plan through Vermont Health Connect.  No one will have to pay more than 8.5% of their income on health insurance premiums.   

I am in the U.S. on a visa and don’t qualify for Medicaid coverage because of my visa status.  Will my monthly premium bill go down?

Yes, if you are enrolled in a qualified health plan through Vermont Health Connect. Depending on your income and the plan you choose, your premiums could be as low as $2/month.  The American Rescue Plan includes visa holders who don’t qualify for Medicaid coverage.   

I can get health insurance through a job, but it’s expensive. Can I get financial help under the new rules? 

Maybe. Financial help is not available to people who have an offer of job-based insurance unless you can prove it is not affordable by federal standards.  Use our affordability worksheet to find out if your job-based insurance is affordable.

If I enroll, how long will my monthly premium bill stay this low? 

The new rules for financial help under the American Rescue Plan include all of 2021 and all of 2022 unless Congress extends or makes them permanent. 

What if my income changes?

Vermont Health Connect’s financial help is based on your income and household size. If your income goes down, you may get more financial help to lower your monthly premium bill. If your income goes up, your financial help may go down. Under the American Rescue Plan, you won’t have to pay more than 8.5% of your annual income towards health insurance premiums.  

Do I have to enroll in a specific plan?

No. You can enroll in any plan Vermont Health Connect offers – bronze, silver, gold, or platinum. You can apply premium tax credits to the plan of your choice.

I enrolled in health insurance directly through my insurance carrier. Can I get financial help to reduce my health insurance premium bill?

Not unless you enroll with Vermont Health Connect. To get financial help, Vermonters must enroll through Vermont Health Connect. We are working on a process to help customers switch to Vermont Health Connect if they would like to. Information and instructions will be posted to this webpage, so please check back soon! 

I don’t have health insurance. Can I apply for Vermont Health Connect coverage and get financial help?

Yes. Now through May 14, 2021 uninsured Vermonters have a Special Enrollment Period to apply for Vermont Health Connect qualified health plans and financial help.

I qualify for financial help, but I chose to pay my full monthly premium instead.  Can I claim the premium tax credit when I file my taxes? 

Yes. If you are enrolled in a Vermont Health Connect qualified health plan, you can choose to claim all your premium tax credits when you file your taxes.  When you do that, you won’t get financial help each month to lower your monthly premium bill—but you will get it as a credit on your federal tax return.  

When will this new benefit be available on Vermont Health Connect?

The American Rescue Plan was signed into law on March 10, 2021, and Vermont Health Connect is still working out the details. The newest information will be posted to this page first, so please check back soon!

Do I qualify if I am eligible for other coverage such as Medicaid, Medicare, or employer-sponsored coverage? 

No. You do not qualify if you are eligible for other coverage such as Medicaid, Medicare, or job-based coverage, unless your job-based coverage is unaffordable by federal standards. Use our affordability worksheet to find out if your job-based insurance is affordable.


VERMONT HEALTH CONNECT WILL UPDATE THESE FAQ’S BY ADDING NEW QUESTIONS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AS NEW INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE.