Open Enrollment Ahead!

Here we go again! Monday, November 1st is the start of the official 2022 #ACA Open Enrollment Period (OEP) for anyone who needs quality, affordable healthcare coverage. The 2022 OEP is by far the best ever for the ACA coverage, with dramatically expanded financial help for millions more people (including many who weren't eligible last year), reinvigorated expert, unbiased assistance, more choices in many states and counties, and FREE policies for more people than ever before.

If you've never enrolled in an ACA healthcare policy before, or if you looked into it years ago but weren't impressed, please give it another shot now. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan (ARP), it's a whole different ballgame.

Here's some important things to know when you #GetCovered for 2022:


1. RESIDENTS OF MOST STATES HAVE MORE TIME, BUT YOU STILL SHOULDN'T DELAY!

White House Logo

UPDATE 11/19/21: The revised Build Back Better Act passed the House of Representatives this morning, so I'm re-upping this for a few days. It now moves to the Senate where it will likely be tinkered with a bit more; if it passes there, it will then move back to the House for one more final vote before hopefully being signed into law by President Biden. Make sure to also read about some additional revisions to the bill made after I wrote this post.

The legislative text of the updated Build Back Better (BBB) bill is now available, and as I suspected, for all the understandable disappointment about what isn't part of it any longer, there's a lot more healthcare-related stuff in there than most people think. A lot of it gets kind of wonky or may seem like "small potatoes" to most folks, but pretty much everything in it would make a huge positive impact on those it benefits.

December 5, 2021, 10:33am: See important updates at bottom.

NPR, December 5, 2021, 5:00am EST:

Pro-Trump counties now have far higher COVID death rates. Misinformation is to blame

by Daniel Wood, Geoff Brumfiel

Since May 2021, people living in counties that voted heavily for Donald Trump during the last presidential election have been nearly three times as likely to die from COVID-19 as those who live in areas that went for now-President Biden. That's according to a new analysis by NPR that examines how political polarization and misinformation are driving a significant share of the deaths in the pandemic.

Cover ME Logo

Just yesterday I realized that CoverME, Maine's new state-based ACA exchange, had issued their first enrollment report for the first 2 weeks of the 2022 Open Enrollment Period.

It turns out that the same day I posted about it, the Maine HHS Dept. was posting a second report which runs through the first four weeks:

CoverME.gov Open Enrollment Update: November 1-27

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of the Health Insurance Marketplace (OHIM) today released an update on plan selections through CoverME.gov, Maine’s new Health Insurance Marketplace.

OHIM provided the first update on November 18 and will continue updates every two weeks throughout open enrollment, which began on November 1, 2021 and ends on January 15, 2022.

Since the start of open enrollment through November 27 on CoverME.gov:

BeWellNM Logo

BeWell NM, New Mexico's just-launched state-based ACA exchange website, has posted their first Open Enrollment report for the 2022 OEP:

In week four of the 2022 Open Enrollment Period, over 37,000 New Mexicans have an active plan selection. This includes 4,698 existing enrollees who chose a new plan or actively chose to keep their current plan, 2,505 new consumers, and 30,509 passive re-enrollees. There were also 8,061 dental plan selections. Consistent with CMS, enrollment weeks are measured Sunday through Saturday.

Passive enrollees were handled earlier for this year to support the transition from Healthcare.gov to New Mexico’s solution. This offers additional time for payment to ensure that New Mexicans who have a plan stay covered. Individuals can still shop, compare, and change their plan.

Nevada Health Link Logo

The headline choice in this Nevada Health Link press release confused me a bit at first when I saw the larger number later on, but I sorted it out:

Nevada Health Link Enrolls 17,452 Nevadans in First Month of Open Enrollment Period

CARSON CITY, NV) – Nearly 17,452 Nevadans have actively enrolled in qualified health insurance plans within the first 30 days of open enrollment through Nevada Health Link. The Open Enrollment Period (OEP) for the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange (Exchange), Nevada’s state agency that helps individuals get connected to affordable health and dental coverage, began on November 1, 2021 and runs through January 15, 2022.

The key phrasing here is "actively enrolled." The 17,452 figure only includes new enrollees or current enrollees who have actively logged into their account and selected a new plan (or renewed their existing one) for 2022. It doesn't include current enrollees who have been auto-renewed.

New York State of Health

via NY State of Health:

Certified Enrollment Assistors will be On Site at Libraries Across NYC to Help New Yorkers Enroll in Quality, Affordable Health Coverage

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 02, 2021) – NY State of Health, the state’s official health plan Marketplace, today announced that NY State of Health Certified Enrollment Assistors will be available at NY Public Libraries across New York City to educate New Yorkers about enrolling in quality, affordable health coverage. Certified Enrollment Assistors can provide in person assistance at more than 10 libraries throughout December and January to answer questions, make appointments and help with enrollment. Details are available here.

Cover ME Logo

Whoops! This is a couple of weeks out of date, but I figured I should still post it for completeness:

Maine DHHS Releases First CoverME.gov Open Enrollment Snapshot

AUGUSTA— The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of the Health Insurance Marketplace (OHIM) announced today that 8,278 Mainers have selected plans for affordable health coverage in 2022 through CoverME.gov, Maine’s new Health Insurance Marketplace, during the first two weeks of Open Enrollment from November 1-13. This includes 862 new and 7,416 returning consumers.

At CoverME.gov, Maine people can compare plans, apply for financial assistance, and enroll in a 2022 health plan.

HealthCare.Gov Logo

Hot off the presses, via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid:

Week 4, November 21-November 27, 2021

In week four of the 2022 Open Enrollment Period, approximately 569,000 people selected individual market plans through the 33 states that use the HealthCare.gov platform. During the Open Enrollment Period, to date, approximately 3,004,000 people have selected individual market plans on HealthCare.gov. As in past years, enrollment weeks are measured Sunday through Saturday. 

The final number of plan selections associated with enrollment activity during a reporting period may change due to plan modifications or cancellations. In addition, the weekly snapshot only reports new plan selections and active plan renewals and does not report the number of consumers who have paid premiums to effectuate their enrollment.

COVID

Here's the weekly look at the rate of COVID-19 cases & deaths at the county level since the end of June, broken out by partisan lean (i.e, what percent of the vote Donald Trump received in 2020).

The ratio of case rates has started to drop; new cases are now running 2.71x higher per capita in the reddest tenth of the country than the bluest tenth, down from 3.0x higher five weeks ago:

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