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ARPA’s Enhanced Premium Subsidies Provide Particularly Large Benefits

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.

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.


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.

About the Urban Institute

The nonprofit Urban Institute is dedicated to elevating the debate on social and economic policy. For nearly five decades, Urban scholars have conducted research and offered evidence-based solutions that improve lives and strengthen communities across a rapidly urbanizing world. Their objective research helps expand opportunities for all, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the effectiveness of the public sector. Visit the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center for more information specific to its staff and its recent research.




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