HKS Authors

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Objectives: The 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) increased the availability and magnitude of premium tax credits (PTCs) for consumers purchasing individual marketplace plans in 2021-2022. Millions currently purchase PTC-ineligible plans off of the marketplace. We estimate the proportion of off-marketplace enrollees who would be eligible for the expanded PTCs under ARPA, calculate PTC amounts for eligible enrollees, and examine factors influencing plan choice that could inform outreach efforts. Study design: We analyzed data from a survey of a random sample of off-marketplace enrollees in California in 2017 (n?=?829). Methods: Using survey data including self-reported income, household size, and employment status combined with 2021 benchmark premium data from Covered California, we estimate eligibility for PTCs and potential PTC amounts under ARPA among off-marketplace enrollees. We adjust for both survey design weights and poststratification weights. Results: Among off-marketplace enrollees, we estimate that approximately 12% are potentially ineligible for PTCs because they reported incomes less than 100% of the poverty level or because they had access to employer-sponsored coverage for their family through themselves or their partner. The median annual PTC in 2021 for eligible off-marketplace enrollees was $311 but varied greatly by age, family or individual plan, and household income (5%-95% range, $0-$14,836). In 2017, 69% of off-marketplace enrollees were unaware that they had to enroll in marketplace plans to receive PTCs, and 51% received enrollment assistance from insurance brokers. Conclusions: These findings suggest the need for targeted outreach to encourage off-marketplace enrollees to switch to marketplace plans.


Fung, Vicki, Delaney Tevis, Max Weiss, Sharon-Lise Normand, John Bertko, Joseph P. Newhouse, John Hsu. "Premium tax credits in the American Rescue Plan and off-marketplace enrollees." The American Journal of Managed Care 28.8 (August 2022): 404-408.