News: What Part of Biden’s Infrastructure Bill Are You Eligible For?
President Biden’s infrastructure bill includes thousands of dollars in individual benefits. Here’s what you may be eligible for.
Contributing Writer at Tally
December 3, 2021
President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better (BBB) Act passed the House of Representatives on November 19, and it now lies in the hands of the Senate to get final passage. While it’ll likely undergo some changes as it navigates the Senate, the act’s framework is in place.
In addition to helping rebuild the infrastructure in the U.S., there are thousands of dollars available for individuals.
Below, we’ll cover the cash available to individuals, who is eligible for it and how to get it.
Extended child tax credit
As part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the stimulus plan enacted in March 2021, the federal government expanded the child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under 6 years old and to $3,000 for kids ages 6 to 17. The government also began paying advances on the monthly credit.
The BBB Act’s framework extends the child tax credit expansion and monthly payments by one year. President Biden’s initial goal was to make this credit expansion permanent, but he lacked the support to get that done.
Paid family and medical leave
In the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government temporarily expanded paid family and medical leave to help keep income flowing for those taking time off from work to care for sick family members. The BBB Act officially provides 20 days of paid family and medical leave.
The program will work on a sliding scale, giving the lowest earners the largest portion of their wages back while caring for family members. Higher earners will receive a lower percentage of their salaries.
Lowered education costs
The BBB Act originally included two years of free community college for everyone, but that plan was scrapped during the negotiation phase. What remains is an increase in the Pell Grant by $550, bringing it to just over $7,000 per academic year.
The Pell Grant helps those with the greatest financial need afford college tuition. The student never needs to repay this grant.
Enhanced medical coverage and access
Finally, the BBB Act will help with medical access and affordability in multiple ways. When states declined to adopt the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion, it left 2 million low-income families without health insurance. This is known as the Medicaid gap.
The BBB Act aims to close this gap with health insurance premium tax credits through 2025.
It will also extend ARPA’s changes to the ACA through 2025. These changes included modifying the income restrictions for subsidized insurance.
Before ARPA, you only received subsidized health insurance if your income was within 100% and 400% of the poverty line. ARPA now caps your health insurance premiums at 8.5% of your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). Anything above 8.5% of your MAGI is subsidized.
ARPA also made it so folks whose income fell between 100% and 150% of the poverty level don’t pay monthly health insurance premiums.
The BBB Act also caps monthly insulin expenses at $35 and allows Medicare to directly negotiate prices with drug companies. This includes Part D and B drugs. It will also cap seniors’ out-of-pocket drug spending at $2,000 annually and include a hearing aid benefit for Medicaid recipients.
Still a bill in progress
While the BBB Act passed the House, it passed narrowly on party lines. It’s now due for a Senate vote, but it’ll likely go through negotiations on both sides of the aisle before getting a final vote.