The American Rescue plan Act increases and expands cost assistance under the Affordable Care Act. Up to 29 million Americans stand to benefit from the changes.[1][2][3]

Under the American Rescue Plan Act:

  • People up to 150% FPL can get silver plans for $0 premiums and reduced deductibles,
  • People over 400% FPL can get assistance,
  • and everyone with Marketplace assistance gets increased assistance for 2021 and 2022.

Although it is unlikely all eligible uninsured will take advantage of the changes, this could substantially lower costs for the 15 million uninsured who are eligible for marketplace assistance under the changes and the nearly 14 million people insured who are already utilizing the assistance.

Although these changes just generally do a lot of good and should incentivize shoppers to sign up, especially during the COVID special enrollment until May 15th, one of the most important changes is the removal of the subsidy cliff for those making over 400% FPL. Previously even being $1 over the limit meant you got no assistance and perhaps worse, would owe back every credit if you had taken assistance and your income changed. Now those making over 400% FPL can’t pay more than 8.5% of household income, which means in some cases this will result in assistance for those making over 400% FPL and will limit tax credits that would be owed back.

NOTE: The Act also includes a tax holiday for tax credit repayment for 2020, temporary COBRA premium subsidies, and more. For more on what the Act includes, see the citations below.


  1. How the American Rescue Plan Act Affects Subsidies for Marketplace Shoppers and People Who Are Uninsured. KFF.Org.
  2. How the American Rescue Plan Will Improve Affordability of Private Health Coverage. KFF.Org.
  3. Impact of Key Provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 COVID-19 Relief on Marketplace Premiums. KFF.Org.

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