On Anniversary of ACA, Davids Highlight Key Improvements from the American Rescue Plan

March 23, 2021
Press Release
American Rescue Plan Lowers Health Care Costs and Incentivizes Medicaid Expansion

On the 11th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Representative Sharice Davids highlighted key improvements the American Rescue Plan makes to the landmark legislation. The American Rescue Plan builds on the ACA’s critical benefits by lowering health care costs, expanding coverage, and incentivizing states like Kansas to expand Medicaid. 


“In the midst of a deadly pandemic, access to the ACA’s lifesaving benefits and protections is more important than ever,” said Davids. “The American Rescue Plan builds on the ACA by lowering health care costs, expanding coverage, and helping Kansas cover the cost of finally expanding Medicaid. As we mark the 11th anniversary of the ACA, we must renew our commitment to ensuring every person has access to quality, affordable health coverage.”


Below are four key improvements to the ACA included in the American Rescue Package:


  • Providing Enhanced Subsidies in the Marketplaces, Thereby Cutting Many Kansans’ Health Care Costs: The American Rescue Plan significantly expands the subsidies in the ACA Marketplaces to cover more middle class families and to be more generous for those already receiving them, for 2021 and 2022:
    • First, the American Rescue Plan greatly expands the number of Americans who can qualify for subsidies in the Marketplaces.  It removes the current cap that makes any family with income above 400 percent of the poverty level ineligible for any subsidies.  There is now no upper limit on incomes of families eligible for subsidies.  Instead, the bill provides that no one will have to pay more than 8.5 percent of their income for a silver plan in the Marketplaces, with the subsidies paying the rest of the cost.
      • For example, a 60-year old couple in Kansas earning $75,000 per year would save $1,550 per month in the ACA insurance marketplace.
    • Secondly, the American Rescue Plan increases the subsidies for all those who are already currently getting subsidies in the Marketplaces.  For example, those with incomes below 150 percent of the poverty level will now pay zero premium for a silver plan.  Under prior law, they were required to contribute up to 2 percent of their income in premiums.  The amount that an individual must contribute towards premiums rises as income rises but is also capped at no more than 8.5 percent of household income.
  • New Incentives for Medicaid Expansion:  The American Rescue Plan helps cover the cost of expanding Medicaid for the 12 states, including Kansans, that have not yet adopted Medicaid expansion. This would provide health insurance for an estimated 165,000 Kansans. Research confirms that Medicaid expansion increases access to care, improves financial security, and leads to better health outcomes. 

ACA Subsidies for Those on Unemployment:  The American Rescue Plan also provides that any individual who receives unemployment at any point in 2021 is treated as if their income were 133% of the poverty level for the purposes of the ACA marketplace subsidy. As a result, they can purchase an ACA silver plan for zero premium.