President Joe Biden wants Congress to help him make the current Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance premium subsidy permanent. The new federal American Rescue Plan Act now increases the premium tax credit subsidy amount for exchange plan users with income under 400% of the federal poverty level. His American Families Plan outline also includes a national paid family and medical leave program.
- ACA benefit :In the past, the ACA helped people with income from 100% of the federal poverty level to 400% of the federal poverty level pay for exchange plan coverage using premium tax credit subsidies.
- Affordable premiums :In a fact sheet, ‘The American Families Plan’, the Biden administration recently said, “The American Rescue Plan provided two years of lower health insurance premiums for those who buy coverage on their own, saving families an average of $50 per person per month. It will make those premium reductions permanent, a $200 billion investment. As a result, 9 million people will save hundreds of dollars per year on their premiums, and 4 million uninsured people will gain coverage.”
- Focus on family time: The program would cover leave workers take to “bond with a new child, care for a seriously ill loved one, deal with a loved one’s military deployment, find safety from sexual assault, stalking, or domestic violence, heal from their own serious illness or take time to deal with the death of a loved one”.
- Paid leave :The program will provide three days of paid bereavement leave per year and 12 weeks of “paid parental, family and personnel illness saves leave by year 10 of the program.” Benefits equal to a minimum of two-thirds of average weekly wages, up to a limit of $4,000 per month would also be furnished.
- Lower premiums, larger coverage: The policy is “one of the most impactful investments we can make” to reduce prices and expand coverage, said a White House spokesperson. “The president has been very, very clear that he remains fully committed to negotiations to reduce prescription drug prices — that, you will hear him reiterate as a very top priority and something he deems urgent,” he said.