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Washington HealthPlan Finder

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

Record Numbers of Washingtonians Sign Up for Health Care Coverage During 2021 Special Enrollment Period

  • LATEST DATA SHOWS IMPACT OF AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT SAVINGS. NEARLY HALF OF ALL CUSTOMERS PAY LESS THAN $100 PER MONTH.

Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) announced on Tuesday more than 57,000 Washingtonians signed up for health care coverage between February 15 and August 15 on the state’s insurance marketplace, Washington Healthplanfinder. The Exchange opened a Special Enrollment Period in February in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. This allowed any individual in Washington the opportunity to apply for coverage or compare and upgrade their existing insurance.

Nevada Health Link Logo

Via Nevada Health Link:

17,000 Nevadans Saved on Health Insurance Plans Through Nevada Health Link

  • The online insurance marketplace increased total enrollments by 7.6% during American Rescue Plan Enrollment Period

CARSON CITY, Nev. (Aug. 23, 2021) – Nevada Health Link, the online health insurance marketplace operated by the state agency, the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange (Exchange), announced that more than 17,000 Nevadans took advantage of premium savings during an Open Enrollment Period (OEP) created by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA or American Rescue Plan).

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to ensure more Americans are covered by health insurance, The American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law on March 11 of this year, allowing uninsured Nevadans additional opportunities to enroll in health insurance benefits along with significant savings. Customers who were already enrolled also had the opportunity to take advantage of increased subsidies through the Nevada Health Link marketplace.

CMS Logo

via Amy Lotven of Inside Health Policy:

CMS tells Inside Health Policy that it will be releasing a final report on its COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period in September and points out that consumers who submitted their applications by the Aug. 15 SEP deadline still have 30 days to select a plan. Additionally, staffers are contacting the “very small group” of consumers who reached out to the Marketplace Call Center just before the deadline but were unable to get through to a representative so that those individuals have a chance to enroll, the agency confirms.

The final report was obvious, since the 2021 "No Excuses Needed" SEP still ran through August 15th in most states (and is still ongoing in a few), but I figured they'd come out with it in late August, not September.

I admit that I didn't know (or had forgotten?) about those who submitted their apps prior to 8/15 still having a full month to select a plan. Granted, if they wait until mid-September their coverage won't start until October, giving them just 3 months to use up a full 12-month deductible, but still.

Covered California Logo

via Covered California:

  • Covered California’s enrollment continues to surge — with 364,000 signing up since February, more than double normal enrollment rates — as more people sign up for coverage to benefit from the new savings and lower premiums available through the American Rescue Plan.
  • Lower-income households are getting a quality plan for an average of $35 per month, with more than 738,000 people getting brand-name plans for just $1 per month.
  • Middle-income consumers, who were previously ineligible for federal financial help, are saving an average of nearly $800 per month and seeing their monthly premiums reduced by more than 70 percent.
  • Covered California’s increased enrollment includes a higher proportion of African American and Latino Californians, two of the communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing recession.
  • Those who enroll by Aug. 31 would be insured starting Sept. 1.
Pennie Logo

I'm gonna be posting mea culpas for a few days for missing important ACA-related announcements over the past few weeks.

(again, this is outdated as the SEP is now over but it includes some important data points)

via Pennie, Pennsylvania's state-based ACA exchange:

Wolf Administration Commemorates Pennie’s Two-Year Anniversary; Encourages Pennsylvanians to Enroll in Health Coverage

  • Deadline to Receive 2021 Savings on Health Coverage is August 15

Harrisburg, PA – The Wolf Administration today commemorated the two-year anniversary of Pennie, Pennsylvania’s state-based health exchange. To date, more than 335,000 consumers have enrolled for coverage through Pennie and, because of the American Rescue Plan, average premiums after subsidies have dropped by half since the beginning of the year, down to $86 a month.

MNsure Logo

I'm gonna be posting mea culpas for a few days for missing important ACA-related announcements over the past few weeks.

As I've noted several times before, the American Rescue Plan includes an extremely helpful provision for any American who received unemployment benefits at any point during 2021. The short version is that if you received UI benefits for even a single week this year and want to enroll in ACA exchange coverage, your household income will be defined as being 133% of the Federal Poverty Level for purposes of ACA subsidy eligibility regardless of how high or low your actual 2021 income ends up being.

This means, in turn, that you're eligible for a fully-subsidized ACA exchange plan...that is, there will be at least one Silver plan available for $0/month in premiums after subsidies are applied.

Get Covered 2021!

As of midnight on August 15th, the Big Deadline for the 2021 "No Excuse Needed" ACA Special Enrollment Period has come and gone in most states.

HOWEVER, you can still #GetCovered for the rest of 2021 in a few states (including two of the largest ones), and there are still millions of uninsured Americans nationally who are eligible for ACA-compliant coverage for the rest of this year via other options. Let's review!

2021 ACA Special Enrollment Period (SEP): If you live in California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, New Jersey, New York or Vermont, the deadline for the "no questions asked" SEP goes beyond 8/15. In CA, DC & NY it actually runs through the end of the year!

Covered California Logo

My recent obsession with COVID vaccination rates means that I've fallen embarrassingly behind on my annual ACA rate change project, and nothing illustrates this more than the fact that Covered California issued this press release over two weeks ago and I'm just now getting to writing about it:

  • The American Rescue Plan will continue to provide lower premiums, at levels never seen before, throughout the entire 2022 coverage year.
  • The new and expanded financial help has led to a record 1.6 million people enrolled in Covered California, which gives the state one of the healthiest consumer pools in the nation for the seventh consecutive year.
  • The record enrollment and healthy consumer pool were key factors in negotiating a preliminary rate increase for California’s individual market of just 1.8 percent in 2022, and a three-year average of only 1.1 percent (2020-2022).
  • With expansions of coverage by several carriers and a new carrier in one region, consumers will have even more choice: All Californians will have two or more choices, 94 percent will be able to choose from three carriers or more, and 81 percent of Californians will have four or more choices.
  • Consumers can sign up now to benefit from the increased financial help provided by the American Rescue Plan, which is lowering premiums and enabling 700,000 people to get covered for only $1 per month.
HealthCare.Gov Logo

The previous CMS Special Enrollment Period report put the HC.gov total at 1.52 million via HC.gov as of the end of June. In addition, the press release and Sec. Becerra's comments noted that there were at least 600,000 additional SEP enrollments via the 15 state-based ACA exchanges (SBMs), for a total of at least 2.1 million nationally as of the end of June.

Last week I gave a rough estimate of perhaps another 340K more new enrollees via HC.gov for the month of June along with another ~135K via the 15 SBMs, which would bring the grand total up to around 2.57 million nationally.

As I noted this morning, CMS has confirmed almost exactly this total as of the end of July: Over 1.8 million via HC.gov plus another 723,000 via the SBMs, or over 2.5 million total. In fact, when you read the exact figures in the HC.gov report, it's even closer than that:

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