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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:

Platinum Blonde

Back in March, I noted that one of the more interesting provisions of the American Rescue Plan is that anyone who receives unemployment benefits at any time during calendar year 2021 is eligible for maximum ACA subsidies:

Sec. 9663 – Application of premium tax credit in case of individuals receiving unemployment compensation during 2021

For 2021, provides advanced premium tax credits as if the taxpayer’s income was no higher than 133 percent of the federal poverty line (FPL) for individuals receiving unemployment compensation as defined in section 85(B) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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.

Pennie Logo

Wolf Administration and Pennie Leadership Visit YMCA Health Equity Tour to Help Provide Affordable Health Coverage Resources, Health Services, and COVID-19 Vaccines to Pennsylvanians

York, PA – The Wolf Administration and Pennie leadership today provided information on health resources and affordable health coverage, as well as COVID-19 vaccinations to visitors during a YMCA Health Equity Tour at the York City Branch of the YMCA.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the health inequities across the commonwealth,” Pennsylvania Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam said. “We are here at the York stop on the YMCA and Pennie Health Equity Tour to discuss a variety of educational health services and to encourage Pennsylvanians to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine today. We want to make sure all underserved communities are vaccinated and have an opportunity to enroll in affordable health coverage.”

Covered California Logo

This just in from Covered California:

Covered California Sets New Enrollment Record as Thousands Get Lower Premiums From the American Rescue Plan as June Deadline Approaches

  • A record 1.6 million people are actively enrolled in Covered California, including 139,000 who signed up for quality health care coverage since lower premiums became available through the American Rescue Plan.
  • Covered California is also launching a provision that allows thousands of eligible Californians, who received unemployment insurance benefits at any point in 2021, to get the best coverage available for as low as $1 per month.
  • Consumers can use Covered California’s quick calculator to easily find out if they benefit from the new $1 per month provision.
  • The next deadline for coverage is the end of the month: Consumers who enroll by June 30 will be insured starting July 1.
ACA Signups Logo

Yesterday's big story on the ACA front was that the HHS Dept. confirmed more than 1.24 million additional Qualified Health Plan (QHP) selections via the federal exchange (HealthCare.Gov) so far during the ongoing Special Enrollment Period (which runs through 8/15).

In addition to that, however, I've also been tracking the (admittedly scattershot) SEP enrollments across the other 15 states (including DC) which operate their own ACA exchanges. So far only 10 of the State-Based Marketplaces (SBMs) have released any SEP enrollment data, and even then it's been very incomplete. Washington State only released data for the first 9 days of the SEP, for instance...while Pennie (Pennsylvania) just released data all the way through yesterday.

Pennie Logo

On top of yesterday's confirmation by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid that over 1.24 million Americans have enrolled in ACA coverage via HealthCare.Gov so far during the ongoing Special Enrollment Period, I've also just been informed that Pennsylvania (one of the 15 states operating their own ACA exchange) has enrolled nearly 39,000 people during their SEP since 2/15 as well:

HealthCare.Gov Logo

This just in from CMS...

2021 Marketplace Special Enrollment Period Report: February 15 – May 31, 2021

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reports that over 1.2 million Americans have signed up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov since February 15, the start of the 2021 Marketplace Special Enrollment Period (SEP) opportunity, through May 31, with 376,000 consumers signing up for health insurance in the month of May.[1]

I projected at least 1.2 million SEP enrollees via HC.gov a week or so ago. On the other hand, I also noted that President Biden appeared to have let this number slip a week earlier anyway, so it wasn't that impressive of a projection:

ACA Signups Logo

Back on May 11th, I noted that total enrollment in healthcare policies either specifically created by (or expanded to more people by) the Affordable Care Act had likely broken 30 million Americans...an all-time high for the healthcare reform law signed by President Obama 11 years ago.

Last weekend, the Health & Human Services Dept. confirmed this, putting the actual total at around 31 million:

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a new report that shows 31 million Americans have health coverage through the Affordable Care Act – a record. The report also shows that there have been reductions in uninsurance rates in every state in the country since the law’s coverage expansions took effect. People served by the health Marketplaces and Medicaid expansion have reached record highs.

MNsure Logo

via MNsure:

Get Covered This Summer: More Minnesotans Are Seeing Cost Savings Through MNsure

ST. PAUL, Minn.—For the first time, Minnesotans with higher incomes who purchase health insurance through MNsure can access advanced premium tax credits that lower the cost of monthly health insurance premiums. MNsure is encouraging Minnesotans whose incomes were previously too high for tax credits to take another look at private health care coverage through MNsure.

So far, over 9,600 Minnesotans have enrolled through MNsure’s special enrollment period, which began on February 16 and ends on July 16. The special enrollment period is open to those who are uninsured or insured through a plan outside of MNsure. Private plans from BlueCross BlueShield, HealthPartners, Medica, Quartz and UCare are available.

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