AUGUSTA, Maine — Among the provisions included in the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress in 2021 was a program to increase the affordability of health insurance purchased through the individual market. The program reduces monthly premiums by providing subsidies for everyone enrolled in the individual market, including people whose higher incomes had previously made them ineligible for assistance.
However, the enhanced subsidies are only authorized through the end of 2022, and if Congress does not act soon, health insurance will become more expensive for all 66,000 Mainers currently using these subsidies, and up to 9,000 of those people could be forced to give up their insurance entirely.
Examples of annual increases in health insurance costs show the impact on everyday Mainers if the subsidies expire:
- $1,656 increase in annual premium costs for a 40-year-old non-smoker in Androscoggin County earning $36,620 a year
$3,179 increase in annual premium costs for a family of four in Cumberland County — two adults in their thirties and two children — with household income of $83,000 a year
$21,245 increase in annual premium costs for an older couple in Aroostook County — two adults in their sixties — with household income of $75,000 a year
“Maine workers and families across the state are struggling with high costs and tight household budgets right now,” said MECEP Economic Policy Analyst James Myall. “It’s critical that Maine’s Congressional delegation take action to make the enhanced premium subsidies permanent and protect our communities from an economic disaster.”