With American Rescue Plan Act healthcare subsidies set to expire at the end of this year, attention has turned to the question of subsidy extensions. Some 13 million people are currently subsidized due to the ARPA, which was designed to ensure Americans could access essential healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. As Congress debates extending the subsidies for an additional two years, a new analysis from the nonprofit organization the Kaiser Family Foundation suggests that the expiration of the subsidies could lead to huge increases in premiums for many Americans.

Though exact premiums varied between states, the analysis found that in most states, on average, premiums would be around 53% higher in 2022 without ARPA subsidies. For many enrollees, that’s a difference of thousands of dollars a year – a gap many people might find hard to make up if and when the subsidies expire. 

At the same time, baseline premiums are expected to rise by 10% in 2023, meaning the difference between a subsidized 2022 premium and an unsubsidized 2023 premium could be staggering. In one example scenario, the analysis shows that while someone making $51,521 might currently be paying around 8.5% of their income towards their premium, in 2023 they might pay as much as 24% of their salary.

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