Affordable Care Act turns 11

RALEIGH · March 23, 2021

Today is the 11-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the landmark legislation that makes it easier for Americans to access affordable health coverage.

The milestone comes during a unique time in the ACA’s history. On February 15, 2021, the federal government launched a first-of-its-kind special open enrollment period in response to the mounting job losses–and subsequent loss of employer-sponsored health insurance–caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

During this special open enrollment period, which ends August 15, 2021, North Carolinians can take advantage of new measures designed to make getting covered more affordable than ever before.

Thanks to provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021:

  • More people than ever before will qualify for help paying for health coverage, even those who weren’t eligible in the past.
  • Most people currently enrolled in coverage obtained on, the Health Insurance Marketplace established by the ACA, may qualify for more tax credits.
  • Health insurance premiums after these new savings will go down.

Health insurance is more affordable than many people think. In North Carolina, ACA premium costs are capped at 8.5% of a consumer’s income. In addition, many existing Marketplace consumers will see a reduction in their monthly premiums.

Individuals not eligible for subsidies in the past may now be eligible, but they need to update their information.

North Carolinians who have questions about the new provisions, need help enrolling for the first time, or just want to make sure they are enrolled in the plan that best meets their needs can contact the NC Navigator Consortium for help.

“We encourage everyone to meet with a Navigator to update their accounts and check out the new plans and prices available,” said Mark Van Arnam, director of the NC Navigator Consortium.

“However, appointments go quickly, so I encourage everyone to act now and schedule a free appointment with one of our navigators,” Van Arnam said.

The health insurance landscape can be confusing, but safe, virtual appointments are available. Navigators can help you find a plan that is right for you, your family, and your budget. Make sure you have the peace of mind that comes with health coverage during a pandemic by visiting the NC Navigator Consortium’s website and or by calling the Consortium’s toll-free helpline at 1-855-733-3711.

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Media Contacts
Helen Hobson, Public Relations Associate, 704-430-7616, [email protected]

The NC Navigator Consortium is a group of six health care, social service and legal aid organizations that helps North Carolina consumers enroll in affordable, comprehensive health insurance plans on, the Health Insurance Marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act. Members of the consortium are Access East, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, Council on Aging of Buncombe County, Cumberland HealthNet, HealthNet Gaston, and Legal Aid of North Carolina, which leads the consortium. The consortium is funded in part by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and Cone Health. Learn more at and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide nonprofit law firm that provides free civil legal help to low-income and vulnerable North Carolinians. Learn more at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.