Stimulus Plan Has Health Insurance Benefits, Too

The plan’s health care provisions could deliver big savings for early retirees and laid-off workers.

Image of the Capitol Dome being removed and a man takes cash from it
(Image credit: Illustration by Raul Arias)

When President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law in March, much of the focus was on the stimulus payments, and with good reason: $1,400 is nothing to sneeze at, particularly if multiple people in your household are eligible to receive a check. But depending on your circumstances, other provisions in the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill could be worth even more than $1,400—particularly if you need health insurance.

Health insurance for early retirees. Working longer is one of the most effective ways to make your retirement nest egg last (see The Benefits of Working Longer), but not everyone has that option. And if you leave your job before age 65, you’ll probably need to buy a health insurance policy that will cover you until you’re eligible for Medicare. The Affordable Care Act guarantees that you can buy a policy on the ACA marketplace, even if you have preexisting health conditions. But in the past, premiums for many people in their sixties have been steep, often topping $1,000 a month. Health care experts say the high cost of ACA plans has led some older individuals to buy short-term policies that are less expensive but often lack the protections and coverage guaranteed by ACA plans.

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Sandra Block
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Block joined Kiplinger in June 2012 from USA Today, where she was a reporter and personal finance columnist for more than 15 years. Prior to that, she worked for the Akron Beacon-Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. In 1993, she was a Knight-Bagehot fellow in economics and business journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has a BA in communications from Bethany College in Bethany, W.Va.