June 21st, 2022 – One of the few positives from the pandemic was the financial relief that many individuals and families across Colorado received from the federal government. The program slashed health insurance premiums for thousands of Coloradans, often by more than half.
However, unless Congress takes action, the boosted tax credits that reduced health insurance premiums will end on December 31st, 2022. They were all part of a temporary pandemic relief program that began in 2021 and was extended into 2022.
The American Rescue Plan law capped health insurance premiums at 8.5% of a household’s income. That cap resulted in significantly lower monthly premiums and led to more consumers signing up through Connect for Health Colorado, Colorado’s marketplace where individuals can purchase health insurance and receive federal tax credits that they are eligible for.
The impact on lower income working Coloradans is significant. Individuals making between $17,775 and $32,200 and families of four with income between $36,570 and $66,250 could see health premiums roughly double unless the program is extended.
With inflation squeezing household budgets that are struggling to pay for gas, rent and food, the prospect of higher health insurance premiums couldn’t come at a worse time.
If Congress were to to make the changes permanent, the Congressional Budget Office projects it would cost $220 billion to pay for the expansion’s first ten years.