New Stimulus Payments Are Coming

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Representation. A COVID-19 stimulus check.

While an official fourth stimulus check continues to remain off the table and seemingly unlikely for Americans, additional forms of economic assistance continue to become available, meaning that some money is still possible to get a hold of.

In addition to some state programs, as well as money that is going to specific groups of frontline workers, some Americans may be eligible for an additional amount of money thanks to their health insurance, thanks to the “medical loss ratio” requirements in the Affordable Care Act.

Yahoo! News reports that due to the rule, insurance providers have to spend 80% of premiums on claims and other activities like health assessments, hospital discharge plans and patient safety activities, with anything up to 20% going to overhead. Large group plans with 50 employees or more have a ratio of 85/15, and if providers don’t meet the requirement, annual rebates are required to be sent out annually in the form of a premium credit or check. Estimates by the Kaiser Family Foundation state that 2021’s is expected to be $2.1 billion, which would be owed to 10.7 million people.

Five million people in the individual market will share about $1.52 billion of the projected funds, which averages about $300 per person, while those in the small group markets could see $125 each and members in the large group market can see $95 per person.

However, those who receive coverage through employers may not receive the rebate, as it is split between them and the company, and their insurer isn’t required to pay up if the refund could be as small as $5 for individual plans and $20 for group plans.

In addition to those payments, Social Security recipients are expected to get a significant cost-of-living adjustment in 2022, with an expected bump of 6%, CNBC reports. This came after the Senior Citizens League made calls for Congress to set up another round of stimulus checks solely for seniors who are living on a fixed income and could use extra funds.

The Farm and Food Workers Relief (FFWR) grant program is also in effect to give grant funding to food and farm workers, which allows them to receive up to $600 for expenses incurred in preparation for or preventing exposure to COVID-19.

Still, even with all these funding programs in place, a blanket federal stimulus payment doesn’t appear to be in the works, even as more experts have touted the idea of monthly payments of some kind, noting that the previous three stimulus checks all played a significant role when it came to decreasing hardship faced by Americans.


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Photo: Pixabay

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