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American Rescue Plan Act Includes Numerous Health Care-Related Initiatives

March 19, 2021 9:21 AM | WiAHC Office (Administrator)

Earlier this month, Congress passed, and President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The sweeping $1.9 trillion legislative package includes a wide range of funding programs and policies to aid individuals, businesses, and communities across the county with additional COVID-19 relief. In addition to direct $1,400 stimulus payments to individuals, extended unemployment benefits, housing assistance and funding for states, large cities, and schools, the American Rescue Plan also includes funding for the COVID-19 public health response and numerous health care-related initiatives, including:

  • $8.5 billion to track, administer and distribute COVID-19 vaccines.
  • $47 billion for diagnosing and tracing COVID-19 infections.
  • 10% increase to Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage for home and community-based services (HCBS), which equates to a $12.67 billion payment increase for HCBS from April 1 of 2021 through March 31, 2022.
  • $8.5 billion in payments for rural Medicare and Medicaid providers – including hospitals, clinics, home health, and hospice – for COVID-19-related expenses and lost revenue.
  • $200 million for infection control and vaccination uptake in skilled nursing facilities.
  • Requires COVID-19 vaccine coverage without cost-sharing for Medicaid beneficiaries.
  • Increases health insurance premium assistance for individual coverage on the Affordable Care Act Marketplace for 2021 and 2022
For more information on the American Rescue Plan, please review a comprehensive overview of the new law provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures (see page five for health and human services provisions).

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