The cost of health insurance in the U.S. varies by where you live, your insurance provider, how many people are covered in your plan, your age, household income, and which plan you choose. For a 40-year-old with a bronze marketplace health insurance plan, the average monthly insurance is $420.

However, these costs can be reduced through subsidies and premium tax credits. Health stimulus plans like the American Rescue Plan had several provisions that reduced the cost of healthcare for millions of Americans. Read on to learn more about this plan, the benefits it offers, and your options today.

Is There a Health Stimulus Plan?

There are no new health stimulus plans in the U.S. However, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) became one of these such plans when it was enacted on March 11, 2021. It was a stimulus plan that provided financial relief to those struggling due to the COVID-19 health emergency.

The most well-known initiatives of the plan were additional unemployment benefits, stimulus checks of $1,400, an additional child tax credit, tax relief measures, support for businesses and those who are self-employed, and child care stabilization. The plan also had several health insurance provisions.

If you’re looking for low-cost or free health coverage, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are two options that serve children, families, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with disabilities.

The American Rescue Plan and Your Health

The American Rescue Plan increased enrollment and reduced healthcare costs for Marketplace consumers. During the Marketplace Open Enrollment Period (OEP) from November 2021 to January 2022, 14.5 million people signed up for healthcare coverage.

The act made it possible for Americans to purchase high-quality health insurance at low prices. On average, families were able to save $40 per month per person on premiums due to premium credits. More than a third of customers were able to get coverage for less than $10 per month.

What Health Benefits Are Covered by the American Rescue Plan

The health stimulus plan delivered a wide range of benefits to Americans, as we’ve listed below:

  • Free or low-cost health insurance premiums for millions of families enrolled in health insurance.
  • Help uninsured Americans get coverage.
  • 100% premium subsidy for federal continuation of health coverage (COBRA) to ensure those who lost their jobs don’t lose healthcare.
  • Allowing gig workers to be eligible for increased savings and reduced premiums through tax credit help.
  • Expanded Medicaid coverage in several states.
  • More support for home and community-based services.

Who Is Eligible for the American Rescue Plan?

Most individuals who buy health insurance are eligible for subsidies under the American Rescue Plan. Here are some other eligibility requirements:

  • Those who were eligible for subsidies before 2021 qualified for larger subsidy payments.
  • Those with income under 400% of the federal poverty level who weren’t eligible for subsidies earlier were eligible under the American Rescue Plan.
  • Families with household incomes over 400% of the poverty level were newly eligible for subsidies.

Premium tax credits or subsidies are only available through the health insurance marketplace. Those enrolled outside the marketplace can only claim the tax credits they qualify for by transitioning to the marketplace.

How To Apply to the American Rescue Plan

While most of the provisions of the American Rescue Plan were temporary and no longer exist, you may still be eligible for low-cost healthcare coverage.

Visit to sign up for health coverage, change plans, or see if you qualify for reduced-cost coverage due to certain life events or financial hardship. You’ll also be able to check if you qualify for CHIP or Medicaid on the website.

If you’ve recently lost your job or experienced a significant reduction in hours, you may be able to continue group health benefits for a limited time under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).

Your group health plan is required to provide you with notices explaining your COBRA rights. Check the plan’s Summary Plan Description (SPD) to learn more about your rights and how to apply for continuation of coverage under COBRA provisions.

Alternatives To The Health Stimulus Plan

Social media posts and online articles about new health stimulus checks or health stimulus cards in 2023 and 2024 are inaccurate at best and deceptive at worst. While the government hasn’t approved any new health stimulus payments, there are several alternative options available if you need healthcare assistance.

IRS Stimulus Check

Most people have already received the three IRS stimulus checks (Economic Impact Payments) issued during the pandemic under the CARES Act. However, if you were eligible and haven’t received one or more payments, you may be able to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit.

You can check your eligibility and details about your Economic Impact Payments on the Tax Records Page of your Internal Revenue Service (IRS) online account. You’ll need to file your income tax returns for the tax years 2020 and 2021 to receive the rebate.

Social Security Grocery Allowance

Social Security doesn’t offer any grocery allowance or health credit stimulus. However, if you’re enrolled in a private Medicare Advantage Plan, you may be eligible for a Medicare Flex Card.

Some Medicare Advantage plans may also offer food benefits for eligible individuals with chronic conditions. It’s a prepaid debit card that can be used to cover the cost of medicine and food from eligible stores.

There are also several grocery stimulus programs that can help cover the cost of groceries, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).

Future Health Stimulus Programs

Currently, Congress is not considering any health stimulus programs. If a program is introduced in the future, it may affect those with private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid.  

American Rescue Plan Grants

While the American Rescue Plan didn’t have any grant programs for individuals, it did provide a direct $1,400 payment to eligible taxpayers making $75,000 or less.

If a relief fund were to be introduced in the future with a similar health stimulus amount, though unlikely, it would go a long way in reducing the burden of healthcare costs for millions of Americans.

Private Insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare Impact

Government-subsidized health insurance stimulus plans like the Affordable Care Act, which was enacted in March 2010, have helped make health insurance much more affordable–and therefore available–to more people. It has expanded the Medicaid program and supported innovative care delivery methods that have lowered the costs of healthcare.

Future health insurance stimulus programs may build on these benefits, increase funding for Medicaid, and provide incentives to uninsured adults to increase healthcare coverage. You may also be able to get additional help through local governments and nonprofits.

Get Help Paying for Your Healthcare 

While there are no new health stimulus plans under federal government consideration, if you’re looking for financial assistance for healthcare, there are many options available.

Medicare and the Medicare Extra Help Program can help with the cost of prescription drugs. You may also want to consider the Medicare Savings Program to help you pay insurance premiums and deductibles.