Stimulus update: How to sign up for free or reduced-price health insurance; deadline August 15.

Millions of Americans are eligible for free or reduced-price health insurance through a provision of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.

There is a deadline to sign up for the benefits, however.

People who received or were approved for unemployment payments for at least one week starting in 2021 could be eligible for lower-cost or free plans as well as reduced-priced co-pays. The new program through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services started July 1. 



The deadline to enroll is Aug. 1 and the benefit will remain in place through 2021.

“We are doing everything we can to remove financial barriers to comprehensive health care,” said Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in a statement. “The American Rescue Plan provides consumers with additional savings and will make coverage even more attainable for those most in need.”

How to enroll

If you’ve received or been approved for unemployment compensation at any time in 2021, visit to submit a new application or update an existing application to see your options.

If you have a marketplace plan already, log in and then select “report a life change.” You can then update your application to see the options. If you do not have an account you will have to create one and then complete your application.

There are no income limits for applicants.

How many are eligible and how much could they save?

About 60% of eligible uninsured Americans can access free plans after advance payments of the tax credit, federal officials said. Additionally, 80% of current customers will be able to find a plan for $10 or less per month.

The savings could be substantial.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average monthly healthcare premium through the federal insurance site is $452.

Shop & Compare Health Plans Now while you still can!


Updated and written by: Leada Gore |