ARP

ACA Signups

Five days ago I noted that, based on an offhand comment I heard during a White House webinar about the ongoing ACA Special Enrollment Period, it sounds like HealthCare.Gov quietly added over 100,000 new enrollees during the final week of July.

Based on this and the existing data I have from HealthCare.Gov and the 15 state-based ACA exchanges, I concluded that:

Also, as always, remember that everything above refers to the federal exchange only; the 15 states which operate their own ACA exchanges comprise roughly 29% of the 2.1 million QHP selections nationally as of the end of June. A couple of state-based exchanges have already terminated their own SEPs (Idaho, Minnesota and Massachusetts), but the rest are still chugging along, so assuming a similar ratio for July, that would put the monthly total at around 475,000 nationally, for a grand total of roughly 2.57 million or so as of July 31st.

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Note: I'm waiting for confirmation of what I thought I heard yesterday.

On Wednesday evening, I joined a webinar hosted by the White House's Office of Public Engagement highlighting yesterday's announcement by CMS that the enhanced ACA subsidies provided by the American Rescue Plan have helped over 2.5 million current ACA exchange enrollees via HealthCare.Gov reduce their net premiums by 40% on average.

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This just in from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released new data that shows returning consumers can save, on average, 40% off of their monthly premiums because of enhanced tax credits in the American Rescue Plan (ARP), which  President Biden has proposed to extend as part of his Build Back Better Agenda. Since the implementation of the tax credits on April 1, 2021, 34% of new and returning consumers have found coverage for $10 or less per month on HealthCare.gov. A state-by-state breakdown of savings is available here.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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