HHS & National Partners Mark Asian Pacific Heritage Month by Encouraging Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to Enroll in Quality, Affordable Health Coverage through HC.gov

Get Covered Stay Covered 2021

via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS):

Today, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra kicked off Asian Pacific Heritage Month by announcing that HHS will be partnering with select, national organizations the first week in May to support and enhance outreach and enrollment efforts for this population during the HealthCare.gov Special Enrollment Period (SEP). During the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Week of Action, which runs May 3-7, 2021, HHS and partnering organizations will provide education and enrollment assistance to AAPI consumers and use social media to encourage them to enroll in affordable, quality health coverage available through HealthCare.gov. 

An estimated 197,000 uninsured Asian Americans, Native-Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders are eligible to save money on health care coverage, and an estimated 50,000 will be eligible for zero-premium Marketplace plans after subsidies, as a result of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP). ARP has increased tax credits available to consumers, helping to reduce premiums and giving consumers access to affordable health care coverage. More than 800,000 Americans have already signed up for health coverage since the SEP was made available on HealthCare.gov on Feb. 15, 2021.

Well, this confirms one of the two questions I had about the 800K figure when President Biden announced it in his speech last Wednesday: It definitely refers specifically to HC.gov (which covers 36 states this year) only, which means the national total was likely well over 1.0 million nationally; probably closer to 1.1 million.

The other question, which will hopefully be answered via the April HC.gov report from CMS within the next day or so, is what date that 800K figure is as of. It obviously couldn't be any later than 4/27, since Biden's speech was on the 28th, but how much earlier than that was it? Stay tuned...

“The Department of Health and Human Services recognizes AAPI Heritage Month and is committed to ensuring the AAPI community has the tools to lead healthy lives. If we want to tackle health disparities in our country, we need to go straight to the communities most affected,” said HHS Secretary Becerra. “By partnering with national organizations, we will reach Asian American and Pacific Islander consumers, and help them enroll in quality, affordable health coverage so they can access the care that is critically needed. We are not going to wait for anyone to come to us; it is our responsibility to come to you.”

By working with diverse partner organizations and focusing outreach and education efforts on those communities most adversely affected by health disparities, the Administration is fulfilling its promise to address racial and ethnic health inequities.

HHS is working with trusted national organizations to connect with AAPI communities to assist in SEP outreach and enrollment efforts.

The list of the partnering organizations supporting outreach to AAPI communities are:

  • American Hospital Association
  • American Medical Association
  • Asian Pacific Community in Action
  • Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF)
  • Asian Community Development Council (ACDC)
  • Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations
  • Boat People SOS (BPSOS)
  • Catholic Charities USA
  • Catholic Health Association
  • Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS)
  • Diverse Elders
  • Faith and Community Empowerment
  • Families USA
  • Hope Clinic
  • Japanese American Citizens League
  • Light and Salt Association
  • MomsRising
  • National Association of Community Health Workers
  • National Tongan American Society
  • OCA S.Florida (OCASF)
  • Out2Enroll
  • Philippine Nurses Association of America
  • Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
  • We Are Oceania (WAO)
  • Young Invincibles

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is also supporting these community outreach efforts. CMS announced in March an additional $2.3 million in funding available to current Navigator grantees in Federally-facilitated Marketplace states to support outreach, education and enrollment efforts around the 2021 SEP. The agency is also spending an additional $50 million towards outreach and an educational campaign, which includes broadcast and digital advertising and educating consumers through email and text messages.

Consumers who want to enroll in coverage and see if they qualify for more affordable premiums can visit HealthCare.gov or CuidadoDeSalud.gov to view 2021 plans and prices and, if eligible, enroll in a plan that best meets their needs. Additionally, consumers can call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596, which provides assistance in over 150 languages. TTY users can call 1-855-889-4325. Consumers can also find a local assister or agent/broker in their area. Eligible consumers can apply through HealthCare.gov through August 15, 2021, to gain access to the Special Enrollment Period to change or update their plan choices.

For more information on President Biden extending access on HealthCare.gov for the 2021 Special Enrollment Period to August 15, 2021, visit here.

For more information about the Health Insurance Marketplace®[1], visit here.

For more information about the American Rescue Plan and the Health Insurance Marketplace®, visit here.