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via Connect for Health Colorado:

Marketplace Enrollments Trending Higher During Pandemic; Deadline for Jan. 1 Coverage Approaches

DENVER – Through Dec. 6, more than 148,000 Coloradans have signed up for a health insurance plan through Connect for Health Colorado. Initial enrollment totals show that more Coloradans are getting covered this Open Enrollment Period as the pandemic grows in Colorado. 

“I’m encouraged that so many people have signed up for a medical plan that will give them the coverage they need. I hope this also gives them some peace of mind going into the new year,” said Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson. “I urge Coloradans who haven’t enrolled yet to take advantage of the free enrollment assistance we offer. We’re here to help as many Coloradans as possible get covered for January 1st.”

  • Physicians and health centers across the state announce they are reaching out personally to all their patients to encourage them to stay safe from COVID and get insurance coverage if they are eligible — many will receive Covered California’s masks to get the message out that now is the time to get covered and stay covered.
  • California’s leading provider organizations — including the California Hospital Association, California Medical Association, California Academy of Family Physicians, the California Primary Care Association and America’s Medical Groups — are making sure the trusted voice of physicians and other health care heroes are speaking to millions of Californians with the message of remaining vigilant until the vaccine arrives.
  • According to a survey conducted by Covered California, the pandemic continues to touch most Californians, finding that 52 percent of Californians say the pandemic has affected their lives significantly, more than 40 percent personally know someone who has tested positive for the virus, and more than one in four people knows someone who has died from COVID-19.

    via Amy Lotven of Inside Health Policy:

    CMS tells Inside Health Policy that Affordable Care Act enrollees who have reconciled their 2019 advanced premium tax credits (APTCs) as required can keep their 2021 subsidies, even if they were notified that they’re at risk of losing them, by checking a box on their exchange application. But Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) tells IHP he wants the government to do more to help enrollees.

    ...The ACA requires exchange enrollees to estimate their next year’s income to determine their eligibility for tax credits and then reconcile that prediction with actual income during tax filing season. Regulations also require CMS to cut off future year tax credits if IRS data show that an applicant filed a return yet failed to reconcile their APTCs.

    via Your Health Idaho:

    It is no secret that 2020 has been a challenging year for Idahoans. In addition to the health implications and long-term consequences of COVID-19, living in a global pandemic has changed the way Idahoans work, learn, and interact with friends and family.

    Over the past year, COVID-19 has also highlighted the undeniable need for comprehensive health insurance and access to quality healthcare. However, in a year with so much uncertainty and change, it may seem like health insurance is unaffordable or something that we can go without. At Your Health Idaho we understand that budgets are tight, we also know that the peace of mind that comes with having coverage in the event of an emergency is priceless.

    As 2020 draws to a close, so does the annual Open Enrollment period for health insurance. Right now, at YourHealthIdaho.org you can shop and compare hundreds of health insurance plans to find the right coverage for you and your family.

    Reminder from MNsure, Minnesota's ACA exchange:

    Compare plans through MNsure and see if you can save

    • More plan options available this year than ever before

    ST. PAUL, Minn.—MNsure is reminding all Minnesotans, regardless of insurance status, to compare plans before the December 22 open enrollment deadline. Individuals who currently have health insurance elsewhere, are uninsured, or are already enrolled through MNsure are encouraged to see if they can save money. With new plan options available in every county in Minnesota, MNsure recommends using the plan comparison tool to view plans side by side and explore details about premiums, deductibles, out-of-pocket costs and more. Minnesotans who sign up by the deadline will have coverage beginning on January 1, 2021.

    Health Insurance Town Halls Offered to Michigan Consumers with Questions about Open Enrollment 

    Thousands of Michiganders have lost health coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is offering virtual town hall events to help answer questions about open enrollment on the Health Insurance Marketplace, which runs until Dec. 15.  

    These live online town hall meetings are part of a series of events that will help consumers learn and ask questions about signing up for a health plan on the Health Insurance Marketplace. To attend a virtual town hall event, click the event link at its start time. Instructions for attendees are available and explain how to join an event and ask questions. 

    Event Information: 

    The Massachusetts Health Connector (MA's ACA exchange) doesn't generally post official enrollment data reports via press releases, but I have a contact there who sends me their latest numbers from time to time during Open Enrollment:

    Here's where we are at, currently:

    • January effectuations: 275,003
    • Feb. and March effectuations: 5
    • Plan Selections: 9,143
    • Total enrollments: 284,151

    As a reminder, "effectuations" have paid the first month premium and are good to go. Plan selections still need payment to start.

    Massachusetts is a bit unique among the ACA exchanges--they, along with Rhode Island, are the only ones which handle premium payments as well as policy enrollments. This means that they don't just track how many people select policies, they also know how many of those who enroll have actually paid their monthly premiums.

    via Connect for Health Colorado:

    Coloradans Are Getting Covered During the Pandemic

    DENVER – Nearly 30,500 Coloradans signed up for a health insurance plan through Connect for Health Colorado’s Marketplace between Nov. 1 and Nov. 20. Through the first three weeks of the Open Enrollment period, approximately 73 percent of applicants qualify for financial help to help pay their monthly premiums.

    Unlike many of the state-based exchanges, the Colorado ACA exchange is not "front-loading" their autorenewals of existing enrollees. They address this further down the press release:

    “Unfortunately, the pandemic is continuing to grow and affect our communities. That’s why it’s more important than ever that Coloradans have access to affordable and quality health coverage.” said Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson. “I urge Coloradans to connect with us online, over the phone, or by making a virtual appointment with a certified Broker or Assister. We are here to make your enrollment as easy as possible.”

    NATIONAL COALITION LAUNCHES “GET COVERED 2021” URGING AMERICA TO MASK UP AND GET INSURED – FOCUS ON COVID AND COVERAGE FOR 16 MILLION AMERICANS ELIGIBLE FOR FINANCIAL HELP NOW

    • “Get Covered” is a call to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID as well as a public statement that you want your family and friends to get health insurance.
    • COVID underscores why insurance matters - but not just because of the pandemic - coverage can help people stay healthy and provide a pathway to care for diseases like cancer, diabetes, and many others that impact people’s lives.
    • Get Covered 2021 will focus on getting the estimated 16 million uninsured people across America eligible for financial help – through their Affordable Care Act marketplace, or free coverage through Medicaid – insurance coverage now.
    • The Get Covered 2021 coalition announced that December 10th will be Get Covered America Day -- a day of action where everyone will be encouraged to keep wearing their mask and post a picture of themselves on social media, including a personal message about how friends, family and neighbors can get financial help for insurance now, sharing the website GetCovered2021.org and using the hashtag #GetCovered2021.

    Normally Rhode Island's Open Enrollment Period deadline ends on New Year's Eve (already 2 weeks longer than the federal OEP). This year they're bumping it out even longer:

    HealthSource RI extending Open Enrollment period to help more Rhode Islanders get health coverage for 2021

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