Center for American Progress Action

The American Rescue Plan Extends Affordable Care Act Subsidies To Lower Premiums for Arizonans

After various attacks on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) over the years, many families with ACA health care have seen their premiums increase. A small portion of those families accessed subsidies to help cover the cost difference. When the American Rescue Plan extended those subsidies, millions of Americans, including Jodi Smith, saw their premiums significantly decrease.

Photo shows Jodi Smith taking a selfie wearing a purple tank top.

Jodi Smith is pictured in August 2022. (Photo credit: Jodi Smith)

When Jodi retired from her county job, she found the premiums for her state-provided health care were far higher than premiums under the ACA. She enrolled in ACA health care from its beginning and found her premiums averaged around $300 to $400 per month after applying subsidies. But after President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, ACA subsidies were expanded and saved millions of Americans hundreds of dollars on their premiums. Jodi saw her monthly premiums drop from around $400 to $116. The savings have helped ease the pressure on Jodi and her husband’s fixed income. When Jodi qualifies for Medicare next year, she looks forward to more-affordable costs from the Inflation Reduction Act.

I was thrilled when I saw my lowered premium. I signed up for health care through the ACA the first year it became available. This year is the lowest monthly premium I’ve had since the beginning. Jodi Smith

For years, Americans who struggled to afford health care had incomes just above the threshold to qualify for ACA subsidies. Without this help, they continued to pay hundreds of dollars more each month, despite not being able to afford it. Extending access to ACA subsidies boosts both the physical and economic health of working-class Americans.

Read more stories on how recent legislation has benefited Americans

This collection features stories from people in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire whose lives have been improved by the legislation passed during the Biden administration’s first two years.

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