March 12, 2022
Below is a statement by Frank Knapp Jr, President and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, regarding the one-year anniversary of the American Rescue Plan and its impact on lowering health insurance costs. Mr. Knapp is also Co-Chair of Small Business for America’s Future and serves on the Board of the American Sustainable Business Network.
We’ve heard much criticism of federal spending allegedly driving inflation rates. One of those federal programs has reached its one-year anniversary.
One of the important features of the American Rescue Plan was that it temporarily reduced the cost of health insurance premiums for over 300,000 South Carolinians and 14.5 million Americans. It did this with a significant increase in premium subsidies for quality health insurance plans obtained through a state or federal Health Insurance Marketplace and making those subsidies available to those previously excluded from financial assistance because of income. Many small business owners were finally able to obtain a comprehensive health insurance plan for themselves and dumped the low-cost, low-benefits, short term plans they had been forced into buying.
As a result, there was a 31% increase in Marketplace policies in South Carolina over the previous 12 months. Nationally, American’s using a state or the federal Marketplace are saving on average $67 a month, more that $800 a year, on their health insurance thanks to the American Rescue Plan.
This reduced cost of health insurance helped to offset the rising costs of other goods and services.
Congress must now continue to address inflation by making the enhanced premium assistance in the Marketplace permanent and by lowering the cost of prescription drugs, a top priority for small business.
The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce is a partner of the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association in educating small business owners and their employees about the benefits of the federal Health Insurance Marketplace.
Frank Knapp Jr.