On March 10, 2021, Congress finalized and passed the American Rescue Plan of 2021 (ARP)—the latest and sixth COVID-19 relief package that largely tracks President Biden’s initial $1.9 trillion proposal. The ARP extends unemployment insurance benefits and provides direct $1,400 stimulus payments to qualifying Americans, but it also makes a number of important health policy-related changes, including providing funding for vaccine distribution and testing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, making policy changes to the Medicaid program, facilitating health insurance coverage and providing more money for healthcare providers. The final bill also makes two narrowly-focused technical Medicare payment changes.
This summary highlights notable health policy provisions of the final bill.
For more information on Federal advocacy, legislative, policy and regulatory issues of impact to UnityPoint Health, please contact Cathy Simmons, executive director of government & external affairs for UnityPoint Health or Stephanie Collingwood, government & external affairs specialist.