Many Californians now qualify to receive quality health insurance for just $1 a month thanks to the new American Rescue Plan. Here’s how to take advantage of the plan’s many benefits.

The recently enacted American Rescue Plan makes health insurance more affordable for millions of Californians. That means big breaks on monthly health insurance premiums, plus cost savings available to more people than ever before. In fact, many Californians will qualify to pay just $1 a month for their health insurance, and you could be one of them. The goal of the American Rescue Plan is to help people get back on their feet following the COVID-19 pandemic, so these savings won’t be around forever. Here’s everything you need to know about how the American Rescue Plan can help you and your family save money on health insurance and what you need to do to take full advantage of its benefits.

What Is the American Rescue Plan?

Signed into law on March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is a stimulus package to speed up our country’s recovery from the financial and health effects of COVID-19. For Californians, that means $3 billion of federal funds injected into our state economy — and for you and your family, it may mean additional help paying for health insurance, so you get the coverage you need.

More financial help is available than ever before, saving households across the state hundreds or even thousands of dollars on monthly premiums. Some California residents can now purchase brand-name health insurance for as low as $1 per month — and 90 percent of all Covered California enrollees receive financial help. Even if you haven’t been able to qualify for financial help to pay for health insurance in the past, you may be eligible now.

The only way to access this enhanced and expanded financial help is by enrolling through Covered California, a free service that helps connect Californians with brand-name health insurance as well as financial and enrollment help for those who need it.

How Much Can You Save on Health Insurance?

Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, signing up for health insurance through Covered California right now can result in huge savings. Whether you are currently uninsured, purchase your insurance directly from a health insurance company or already have coverage through Covered California, the American Rescue Plan may benefit you.

Consider this: A person with an income of more than $51,000 a year pays an average of $1,100 a month for health care coverage. Now that the American Rescue Plan has gone into effect, that monthly bill drops to an average of $507. That’s a savings of nearly $600 per month — over the course of a year, that’s $7,200 back in your pocket. Additionally, many California residents who earn less than $32,000 a year can select a Bronze plan for just $1 a month, or they can opt for a Silver plan for between $50 to $60 per month.

The American Rescue Plan can help many people at different income levels. No matter how much you make, the plan prevents you from having to spend more than 8.5 percent of your household income on health insurance premiums for a benchmark Silver plan. Find out how much financial help you might be eligible for by entering your age, ZIP code, household income and household size at CoveredCA.com.

The American Rescue Plan and Unemployment Insurance

The American Rescue Plan also looks out for Californians who lost their jobs during the pandemic. If a primary tax filer (or their spouse) qualified for — or collected — unemployment for at least one week in 2021, the household will be eligible for the maximum amount of financial help through Covered California, especially if they choose a Silver plan. They can get extra assistance with copays and deductibles for $1 per month for premiums — and the household can qualify regardless of how much money its members earned in 2021.

In addition, the plan will cover 100 percent of monthly COBRA premiums between April 1, 2021, and September 30, 2021, for those who qualified for COBRA during that time. If you were eligible for COBRA but didn’t opt in when you were let go from your job, the bill provides a special enrollment period to sign up.

Special Enrollment Period 2021

Normally, the window to sign up for health insurance is limited to the annual open enrollment period, which typically runs from November through January. However, Covered California has launched a special enrollment period to empower Californians to take advantage of the lower premiums now available thanks to the American Rescue Plan. That means you can apply right now for health insurance coverage. When signing up, simply choose “Learned of American Rescue Plan” as your qualifying life event.

This special enrollment period extends through December 31, 2021 and the open enrollment period for the next benefit year starts on November 1, 2021 and extends through January 31, 2022 so you have many opportunities to sign up and save. However, financial help from the American Rescue Plan is set to expire at the end of 2022. That means the sooner you apply for coverage, the more money you can save.

We all had a tough 2020. Make life easier this year with more affordable health insurance that can give you and your family peace of mind and put money back in your pocket. Sign up now at CoveredCA.com.