AmRescuePlan

Wyoming

March 31st, 2021:

Senate committee kills Medicaid expansion bill, by Morgan Hughes

Medicaid expansion will not happen in Wyoming this year.

The state’s Senate Labor, Health and Social Services Committee killed a bill Wednesday morning to expand the federal insurance program, which would have insured an estimated 25,000 additional Wyomingites.

Lawmakers have defeated similar proposals for nearly a decade. Advocates hoped this year might be different. Many House Republicans voiced a change of heart after the COVID-19 pandemic and the decline of fossil fuels rocked the state’s economy, leaving many without health coverage. This session was the first in which a bill to expand the program passed a legislative chamber.

ACA Signups Logo

With this morning's confirmation of my post from Saturday that over 1 million more people have enrolled in ACA exchange coverage via HC.gov during the ongoing COVID Special Enrollment Period, I was reminded of a headline I wrote back in March:

Exclusive: Official 2021 #ACA Open Enrollment Period Hits 12.0 Million QHPs For First Time Since 2017

At the time I only had estimated 2021 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) data for several states, but my estimate was confirmed a couple of weeks ago when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the official 2021 OEP report, which states that the official total number of ACA Qualified Health Plan (QHP) selections for 2021 was 12,004,365 people.

ACA Signups Logo

A few days ago, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted an updated report on the number of Americans who have selected Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) through HealthCare.Gov, which hosts ACA enrollment for 36 states during the ongoing COVID Special Enrollment Period (SEP) which began on February 15th and is set to continue through August 15th in most states.

In addition to the 940,000 QHPs via the federal exchange (HC.gov) from 2/15 through 4/30, I've compiled officlal SEP enrollment numbers for several of the states which operate their own ACA exchanges as well:

  • Colorado: 17,282 from 2/08 - 5/05
  • Connecticut: 5,890 from 2/15 - 4/15
  • Idaho: 3,600 from 3/01 - 3/31
  • Maryland: 15,150 from 1/01 - 2/28
  • Minnesota: 2,285 from 2/16 - 3/09
  • Nevada: 6,908 from 2/15 - 5/06
  • Pennsylvania: 11,126 from 2/15 - 3/25
  • Washington: 1,700 from 2/15 - 2/23

The total of these, plus the 940,000 via HC.gov, comes to 1,003,516 confirmed so far.

Washington HealthPlan Finder

This just in from the Washington Health Benefit Exchange...

Washington Health Benefit Exchange Opens the Doors for Washingtonians to Benefit from Lower Health Care Premiums and Save Money Through the American Rescue Plan

  • More Than $250 Million in Tax Credits Available to Help Washingtonians Lower Health Insurance Costs

Health coverage purchased on Washington Healthplanfinder became much more affordable today as the Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) rolled out new savings to help Washingtonians with the cost of their individual health insurance.

HealthCare.Gov Logo

As I noted this morning, CMS has released an updated Special Enrollment Period report which includes SEP enrollment from 2/15 through 4/30 for the 36 states hosted via HealthCare.Gov.

Overall, enrollment during the 2021 COVID SEP is up 3.5x vs. the same time period in 2019, which makes sense when you consider a) the COVID pandemic which has caused millions to lose their income and/or employer-based healthcare coverage; b) the "fully open" status of the COVID SEP; and c) the expanded subsidies put in place under the American Rescue Plan.

SEP enrollment is also up 2.4x over the same time period in 2020; COVID was in full force for most of that period last year, but HC.gov refused to launch a "wide open" SEP as most of the state-based exchanges did, nor were there any expanded subsidies in place, so 2019 is still the more appropriate year to compare against. (Besides, 2020 was a leap year, which tacked an extra day onto the total).

This just in from CMS...

HHS Secretary Becerra Announces Nearly 940,000 Americans Have Signed Up for Health Coverage through HealthCare.gov During Special Enrollment Period

  • Since April 1, premiums have been reduced by over 40 percent for nearly 2 million current HealthCare.gov enrollees

Today, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra announced that nearly 940,000 Americans have signed up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov as a result of the Biden Administration’s Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. The 2021 SEP, along with the additional financial assistance afforded by the American Rescue Plan (ARP), offers individuals and families an opportunity to take advantage of reduced premiums, increased savings, and quality, affordable health coverage through HealthCare.gov.

MNsure Logo

via MNsure:

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Health insurance companies that partner with MNsure have given Minnesotans another reason to move to a MNsure plan. Most Minnesotans who purchased eligible individual or family coverage directly through BlueCross BlueShield MN, HealthPartners, Medica or Quartz can now purchase a plan from their current insurer through MNsure.org and in many cases without losing the dollars already paid toward their 2021 deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

Recent changes to the Affordable Care Act made through the American Rescue Plan mean more Minnesotans will pay less for their insurance. And for the first time ever, Minnesotans who bought their individual or family plan from one of MNsure's partnering health insurance companies can also take advantage of these new savings, but only if they move their coverage and enroll through MNsure. Enrollees should work with their insurance company to determine which plans qualify for a transfer of amounts paid toward their 2021 deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

Access Health CT Logo

Access Health CT has officially announced a new Special Enrollment Period for Connecticut residents to take advantage of the newly-expanded ACA subsidies under the American Rescue Plan:

Access Health CT Announces A Special Enrollment Period Allowing New and Existing Customers To Receive Significantly Greater Financial Help At Virtually Every Income Level

Under the American Rescue Plan, new and existing customers who buy health insurance through the Marketplace will become eligible to receive increased financial help to reduce their monthly payments

South Dakotans Decide Healthcare

 

Back in January, I. noted that:

...over the past few years, the voters of some of those states have decided to take it upon themselves to force their legislators/governors to expand Medicaid anyway, via statewide ballot initiative campaigns:

CMS Logo

CMS is targeting specific populations more closely in order to reduce racial healthcare coverage inequality:

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra announced commitments from national organizations to support Black American outreach and enrollment efforts during the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) made available on HealthCare.gov by President Biden due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Black Americans represent roughly 13% of the U.S. population but 16% of the uninsured.

As part of the Black American Week of Action, April 25 – May 1, HHS and its partnership organizations will combine social media efforts to inform Black American consumers and spur enrollment in affordable, quality health plans through HealthCare.gov. An estimated 66% of Black uninsured adults now may have access to a zero-premium plan and 76% may be able to find a low-premium plan as a result of expanded coverage.

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