ARPA’s Enhanced Premium Subsidies Provide Particularly Large Benefits to Residents of Rural Areas

A small house on a neighborhood street.

Rural residents benefit most from the American Rescue Plan Act’s enhanced premium subsidies. New research finds enhancements made coverage more affordable for millions, particularly in rural areas.

The Issue

Insurance coverage in rural areas will likely decline if Congress does not extend enhanced subsidies included in the American Rescue Plan Act.

Key Findings

  • In 34 states, average benchmark premiums in rural areas exceed those in urban areas. 

  • On average, when weighted across all 50 states, benchmark Affordable Care Act premiums in rural areas are about 10% higher than in urban areas.

  • Only eight states have average urban benchmark premiums that exceed average rural premiums.

  • The value of the enhanced premium subsidies is greater in rural areas.

Conclusion 

Researchers determine that if the American Rescue Plan Act premium subsidies are not extended, rural areas and other areas with high insurance premiums will feel significant financial impacts. Extending these benefits means comprehensive coverage will remain affordable for many rural residents.

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