Help with Healthcare is Available - Apply by August 15th!

August 9, 2021 10:58 AM

The government's deadline to apply for this program is this Sunday, August 15th. Don't delay!

There is more good news from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP) that was passed by Congress and signed by President Biden in March. Many workers who are receiving — or have already received — unemployment benefits in 2021 qualify for no-cost or low-cost private health insurance. This little known feature of the ARP will last through the end of the year. But eligible workers must apply by August 15. The program applies to anyone who received unemployment benefits anytime during 2021, even if they are working again.

Yes, health plans with low-cost or even no-cost premiums that come with minimal cost-sharing or no cost-sharing are available through the Affordable Care Act marketplace to individuals collecting unemployment now or at any point this year. That means there are small deductibles and co-pays, and, in some cases, no deductibles or co-pays at all. This makes the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "Obamacare") all the more important, because it is through the ACA's exchanges that this low-cost or no-cost health insurance is available. The program has been made possible only through the ARP provisions that increased ACA subsidies and expanded the number of people who qualify for them. In short, low-cost or, in some cases, no-cost healthcare is available to many HTC members who are were unemployed anytime in 2021 or are still unemployed.

Before the expansion of Obamacare through the American Rescue Plan, this kind of aid paying for family health coverage was available to households based on the poverty levels for the number of people in those households. But those caps have been lifted. In fact, the amount anyone who is currently unemployed (or was unemployed anytime in 2021) would pay for healthcare would be limited to 8.5 % of their income as calculated by the exchange. It is estimated that almost 11 million uninsured individuals would qualify for subsidies in some form, according to health insurers. In addition, about three out of five eligible uninsured Americans should be able to access low-cost or zero-premium plans, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. That includes those who would qualify under the unemployment provision.

There is no income test to take advantage of this benefit, but individuals cannot qualify for any subsidies through the ACA marketplace if they get health coverage through their employment. Remember: To qualify, you must not be able to get insurance any other way, including through employment, your spouse's coverage, Medicare or Medicaid.

How to Apply:

Do you think you might be eligible for low-cost or no-cost health insurance? It costs nothing to find out! Simply visit and submit a new application or update an existing one to maximize your savings.

Help Available to Members who Currently have Subsidized COBRA:

There is also help available for members currently receiving subsidized COBRA! You, too, can take advantage of this benefit when your free COBRA coverage ends. Starting August 1, you can report a future "loss of coverage” to qualify for a Special Enrollment Period when your subsidized COBRA ends, so you don’t have a gap in your health coverage. For more information, go to:

Other Affordable Options for New York City Residents:

New York City residents may also want to try NYC Care for low-cost or no-cost insurance. NYC Care is a health care access program that guarantees low-cost and no-cost services offered by NYC Health & Hospitals to New Yorkers who do not qualify for or cannot afford health insurance based on federal guidelines. NYC Care is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive initiative to guarantee health care for New York City residents, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay. You can contact NYC Care online at or by calling 646-NYC-CARE. New York City residents who are eligible for health insurance will be directed to the city’s public choice health plan, MetroPlusHealth.

MetroPlusHealth is a city-operated, not-for-profit healthcare plan that offers low-cost health insurance to New York City residents. Visit for more information or to apply. MetroPlus agents are also available to speak with our members who are New York City residents at 1-855-809-4073.

More Resources on Our Website:

There are also low-cost options available for non-New York City residents who have lost their healthcare coverage. These can be found on our website at