ARP

Get Covered 2021!

 

Nearly every state (+DC) has re-opened enrollment on their respective ACA exchanges in response to both the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the American Rescue Plan (ARP), which substantially expands and enhances premium subsidies to millions of people!

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 ARP (and some other reasons), it's a whole different ballgame this spring & summer.

Here's 10 important things to understand when you #GetCovered:

MNsure Logo

MNsure may have ended their "no reason needed" Special Enrollment Period (SEP) a few days ago, but anyone qualifying for a traditional SEP is still eligible...and this year, that includes anyone who's on unemployment at any point during 2021:

Did You have Unemployment Income in 2021? You may Qualify for Health Insurance with a $0/Month Premium 

July 20, 2021

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Minnesotans who received unemployment income at any time in 2021 now can access extremely low-cost health insurance through MNsure.

The new benefits were implemented as part of the American Rescue Plan legislation enacted earlier this year. New federal subsidies for private health insurance on MNsure act as an instant discount for consumers, lowering the cost for monthly premiums. Some Minnesotans can find a plan with a premium as low as $0 per month.

CMS Logo

Thanks to Amy Lotven of Inside Health Politics for the heads up:

CMS Thursday (July 15) announced a new advertising campaign that will run in the final 30 days of the special enrollment period slated to end Aug. 15, and the agency also confirmed Inside Health Policy’sreport that the agency plans to auto-adjust tax credits for consumers who do not return to the federal marketplace starting Sept. 1.

Sure enough, this press release was put out by CMS earlier today:

Access Health CT Logo

via Access Health CT:

The Access Health CT American Rescue Plan Act Special Enrollment Period has saved Connecticut residents more than $4.5 million in health insurance costs since May 1

  • Connecticut residents have one month left to enroll.
  • More than 33,000 enrollees have received new financial help, saving approximately $4.5 million dollars in total.
  • The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) made health insurance coverage more affordable for many Connecticut residents by virtually eliminating or vastly reducing monthly payments (premiums) for people with low and moderate incomes.

HARTFORD, Conn. (July 15, 2021) — Access Health CT (AHCT), Connecticut’s official health insurance marketplace, is reminding Connecticut residents they have one month left to enroll in health insurance coverage during the American Rescue Plan Act Special Enrollment Period ending August 15.

HealthCare.Gov Logo

The previous CMS Special Enrollment Period report put the HC.gov total at 1.24 million via HC.gov as of the end of May, slightly exceeding my own projection. In addition, I had already confirmed at least 400,000 additional SEP enrollments via the 15 state-based ACA exchanges, for a total of at least 1.6 million nationally as of the end of May.

I didn't make any specific projection for the end of June as I've been swamped with my COVID vaccination tracking project, though I generally expected the enrollment pace to drop off significantly (anyone enrolling in June didn't have their policy kick in until July 1st, meaning their deductible & out-of-pocket cap would be the same even though they're only getting 6 months to use them up). Several hundred thousand more was a reasonable assumption, which would probably bring the national total up to somewhere in the 2 million range.

MNsure Logo

via MNsure:

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Health insurance helps individuals and families prepare for life’s unexpected challenges. To enable more Minnesotans to gain the security of health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic, MNsure has offered a five-month special enrollment period (SEP) that closes this Friday, July 16, 2021.

If you’re uninsured or are currently enrolled in a health plan outside of MNsure, the COVID-19 SEP is a unique opportunity for you to find affordable, comprehensive health care coverage for 2021 through MNsure. The next open enrollment window won’t be until November 2021, with coverage beginning in January 2022—so don’t wait!

MNsure Logo

via MNsure (by email):

Two weeks left to apply for private health insurance during special enrollment period

  • New cost savings available when you apply through MNsure

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Do you lack health insurance or are you currently enrolled in a health plan outside of MNsure? Don’t wait to act—you have until Friday, July 16, 2021 to apply and enroll in a plan this summer thanks to MNsure’s special enrollment period, designed to help more Minnesotans get the security of health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period runs through August 15th in most states, but in Minnesota it's only available through July 15th.

To explore your options, visit MNsure.org and select “COVID special enrollment” on the homepage.

Health insurance is more affordable than ever for thousands of Minnesotans who enroll in private health plans through MNsure, thanks to the American Rescue Plan.

Washington HealthPlan Finder

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

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) reports that tens of thousands of Washingtonians now pay less each month for healthcare coverage. Within two months of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) becoming federal law, the Exchange passed on the expanded savings it made available to new and current customers on the state’s insurance marketplace, Washington Healthplanfinder.

“There has never been a better time to sign up for healthcare coverage in Washington,” said Pam MacEwan, Chief Executive Officer of the Exchange. “We’ve been hearing from people across the state who are saving hundreds or in some cases more than a thousand dollars per month.”

Tracy Roberts from Seattle posted to Facebook, “I just opened my bill for July and it’s $242 less than I presently pay . . . That’s incredible! Absolutely incredible and completely unexpected. Life will be a little easier for now.”

Platinum Blonde

Last week I gave a heads up about the imminent launch of the American Rescue Plan's "Unemployment Insurance Benefit" provision at HealthCare.Gov:

This, again, is a Big Deal for this year. Paired with the beefed-up APTC table, what it means is that if you're on unemployment this year you effectively don't have to pay anything for a benchmark Silver plan. I'm not sure if you have to be unemployed for the full year or not...the wording above sounds like even someone who's only on unemployment for one or two weeks would still be counted as having 133% FPL.

Sure enough, just about anyone who is either currently receiving unemployment benefits or who did earlier this year (or later this year, for that matter) is likely eligible for a FREE ($0* Premium) Silver CSR 94 plan...otherwise known as #SecretPlatinum:

Pages