Markets slipped Wednesday, jobless claims fall to their lowest level in a year, and an important health-care deadline has been extended. Here's how the headlines could affect your money.
The market continued to decline Thursday morning.
First-time claims for unemployment benefits totaled 684,000 for the week ending March 20. It's the first time in the Covid-19 era that claims fell below 700,000, and the lowest level since March 14, 2020, when shutdowns were just beginning.
The weekly total is a significant improvement from the prior week and well below economists' expectations. Experts see this as a sign the job market is gaining traction in the wake of the stimulus package and as the vaccine rollout ramps up.
Originally set to close on May 15, the special enrollment period for securing private health insurance plans through public exchanges has been extended three months, the Biden administration announced Tuesday.
The extension gives consumers until August 15 to take advantage of savings passed as part of the American Rescue Plan, which removes the income cap to qualify for premium tax credits and limits the amount anyone pays in premiums to 8.5% of their income.
Video by Stephen Parkhurst
A premium tax credit helps individuals and families cover the cost of premiums for health insurance plans purchased through public exchanges. The credit is refundable, meaning it could potentially result in a tax refund.
Generally, you qualify for a premium tax credit if your income falls within a certain range and you are not eligible to get coverage through an employer or through a government program like Medicaid or Medicare.
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