How The American Rescue Plan Helps US States
State governments are beginning to receive the first allocations from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
The amount of ARPA dollars that states will receive varies based on the number of unemployed workers in late 2020. States experienced different levels of joblessness as a result of the pandemic, and some bounced back faster than others. In addition, the program allocates each state a separate $500 million, which will have a much more significant impact in those with smaller populations and less annual spending.
For states such as South Dakota and Wyoming, the federal aid represents a huge boost for their budgets—about one-fifth of what they spent in fiscal year 2020. In states where the aid equates to a low of about 5% of state spending, such as Oregon and Wisconsin, the infusion of federal cash is still significant.
Wyoming has the fewest people but is slated to receive nearly $1.1 billion, an amount equivalent to 22.7% of its total spending in fiscal 2020—the largest percentage of any state.
South Dakota will receive the second-largest infusion of federal funds relative to its spending—20.1% of last year’s expenditures.
Nevada with its high unemployment received the third-largest allocation as a share of state spending at 17.2%.
For 37 states, ARPA aid is equivalent to between 5% and 10% of total spending last fiscal year, including capital expenditures and spending from federal funds and bonds.
The American Rescue Plan makes health insurance more affordable for millions of Americans.
"People need to be aware of these changes and utilize the benefits," Sen. Tammy Baldwin says.
A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis estimates that 92% of people who buy their own health insurance will qualify for a subsidy. Its findings also indicate that 1.4 million uninsured people are now newly eligible for the subsidized marketplace coverage.
Kaiser pegs the average savings as ranging from $33 a month for those with incomes under 150% of the poverty level to $213 a month for those with incomes between 400% and 600% of the federal poverty level.
Estimates by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) say premiums after the new savings will decrease, on average, by $50 per person per month, or $85 per policy per month. Four out of five enrollees should be able find a plan for $10 or less a month after premium tax credits, CMS says, and more than 50% will be able to find a “Silver” (or mid-level) plan for $10 or less.
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