On March 11, 2021, President Biden singed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law. The wide-reaching, $1.9 trillion law will impact community health centers (CHCs), the patients we serve, and the states with whom we partner. Below is additional information about the specific provisions of ARPA as they relate to health and health care. We will continue to add information and links as they become available. 

Community Health Center-Specific
Funding | Workforce | CHCs as Employers

Impact
Individuals & Families | North & South Dakota


Funding:

ARPA includes $7.6 billion in funding for CHC COVID-19 relieve and response. The White House recently announced plans to allocate just over $6 billion directly to CHCs to expand COVID-19 vaccinations, testing, and treatment for vulnerable populations; deliver preventive and primary health care services to people at higher risk for COVID-19; and expand health centers’ operational capacity during the pandemic and beyond, including modifying and improving physical infrastructure and adding mobile units.   

Health centers will have 60 days following the upcoming fiscal year 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (H8F) Funding for Health Centers award release to submit information about planned activities and costs to be supported by the funding. Visit the H8F technical assistance page for the award submission guidance, information about upcoming question and answer sessions for recipients, and more.  

For detailed information on how this funding is being distributed to health centers, including an interactive map of health centers that will receive funding, please visit the H8F awards page. 



Workforce: 

Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) received $900 million in new funding in the ARPA to support, recruit, and retain qualified health professionals and students through its National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and Nurse Corps programs. See details here. 


CHCs as Employers:

On March 11, 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 to provide economic relief during the coronavirus pandemic. The $1.9 trillion measure has several provisions that can be found here that directly affect employers.

 

A Columbia University study found that the combination of provisions in the ARPA will lift more than 5 million children out of poverty during the law’s first year, and it will cut the child poverty rate in our country by over 50%. Specific provisions include:



2021 Special Enrollment Period (SEP) Extended to August 15 on HealthCare.gov 

As of April 1, consumers can enroll or re-evaluate their Marketplace health coverage through August 15 due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency. More people than ever before qualify for help paying for health coverage, even those who weren’t eligible in the past. Learn more about new, lower costs. This SEP doesn’t require a qualifying event like the birth of a child, move, or marriage to enroll in a Marketplace plan. Current enrollees whose state uses HealthCare.gov can chose to change their plan during the SEP, however it’s important to consider any out-of-pocket costs already paid. Changing plans or adding a new household member will likely trigger the start of a new deductible

Extended Access Opportunity to Enroll in More Affordable Coverage Through HealthCare.gov

  • People up to 150% FPL will be able to get silver plans for zero premium with vastly reduced deductibles, through the end of 2022.

  • For the first time, premium tax credits will be available for persons with incomes over 400% FPL.  Through the end of 2022, these persons will be required to contribute no more than 8.5% of household income toward the benchmark plan.

  • For current Marketplace enrollees, subsidies are retroactive to the beginning of this calendar year. However, if current enrollees don’t update their enrollments during 2021, they will be reimbursed for the value of the premium subsidies when they file their 2021 Federal taxes.

  • People who paid too little for their Marketplace coverage in 2020 will not be required to repay the difference to the IRS. Health coverage tax tool

Current unemployment insurance benefits have been extended to September 6, saving 11 million Americans from losing benefits. It will provide a $300 per week supplement over and above each state’s usual unemployment payment. People who receive unemployment insurance at any time in 2021 will be eligible for a zero-premium benchmark silver plan with comprehensive cost sharing subsidies this year (but not in 2022).

Learn more about COBRA continuation coverage and the Marketplace. Persons who lost their jobs due to the pandemic and have not yet found new jobs that offer health insurance, can get 100% of their COBRA costs covered for the period April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021.

Technical stakeholder guidance includes a toolkit that includes prepared communication guides, tools and frequently asked questions.




ARPA Impact on North Dakota and South Dakota

Impacts on North Dakota and South Dakota

The ARPA provides additional funds to states. The ARPA also extends the time period for use until December 31, 2024. The funding can be used for public health efforts responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and for efforts to address the pandemic’s economic impact, including assistance to households, small businesses and nonprofits, infrastructure, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel and hospitality. HHS Fact Sheet with newly released data on the uninsured populations newly eligible for tax credits. 

ARPA requires state Medicaid programs and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to provide coverage, without cost-sharing, for treatment or prevention of COVID-19 for one year after the end of the public health emergency (PHE), while raising the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) to 100% for payments to states for administering vaccines for the same period.

ARPA changes to Medicaid can be found here