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Access Health CT, Connecticut's state-based ACA exchange, has updated their enrollment summary and now reports 102,049 residents have selected policies for 2021, including 15,310 new enrollees.

Last year they had a total of 107,833 QHP selections during Open Enrollment, which they're just 5.4% away from breaking.

In addition, as noted a few days ago, they're also extending their deadline by a full month (whcih they also did last year):

via Access Health CT:

Access Health CT Extends 2021 Annual Open Enrollment Period As A Result Of Current Health Crisis

CT residents can shop and enroll in health insurance coverage until January 15, 2021

Annnnnnd add Your Health Idaho to the list:

Deadline to Get Health Insurance Extended
Idahoans have until December 31 to get covered for 2021

Today, for the first time ever, the Your Health Idaho Board of Directors voted to extend the Open Enrolment deadline. Idahoans now have until Dec. 31, 2020, to sign up for health insurance coverage that begins Jan. 1, 2021.

Your Health Idaho saw the largest single-day enrollment since 2018 on Tuesday, Dec. 15, the original deadline date. This increased activity coupled with ongoing impacts from the coronavirus pandemic spurred Your Health Idaho to extend the deadline.

“An unprecedented year calls for unprecedented measures,” said Your Health Idaho Chairman of the Board, Stephen Weeg. “Given the challenges faced by Idahoans in 2020 and the renewed need for comprehensive health insurance, we hope that by extending the deadline a few more weeks, every Idahoan will have access to the coverage they need for the coming year.”

Earlier this week California bumped out their "soft" enrollment deadline for January coverage from 12/15 to 12/30. Yesterday Colorado bumped theirs out to 12/18, and Connecticut tacked on an entire extra month to their Open Enrollment Period (though enrollees there won't start coverage until February at this point).

Today New York continues the trend:

Press Release: NY State of Health Reminds New Yorkers There is Still Time to Sign up for Coverage that Begins on January 1, 2021

Dec 17, 2020

(ALBANY, N.Y) December 17, 2020-- NY State of Health, New York’s official health plan Marketplace today announced New Yorkers applying for Qualified Health Plan coverage have until December 31 to sign up for health coverage starting January 1, 2021. Individuals who were unable to enroll by the December 15 deadline should enroll now by visiting the NY State of Health website.

Hot off the presses from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan's office (interestingly, the announcement is being made by him, not by the Maryland Health Connection ACA exchange itself, which is unusual):

Governor Hogan and Maryland Health Connection Announce Record Enrollment for Health Coverage

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced that more than 166,000 Marylanders enrolled in private health coverage for 2021 through Maryland Health Connection—the largest enrollment ever on the state’s health insurance marketplace—which represents a 4.5% increase of about 7,100 enrollees since the previous year.

“I am pleased to see so many Marylanders taking advantage of our state’s impressive health insurance marketplace, especially as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic, ” said Governor Hogan. “With one of the longest COVID-19 special enrollment periods in the country, we continue to work to increase healthcare access and affordability in Maryland.”

via Access Health CT:

Access Health CT Extends 2021 Annual Open Enrollment Period As A Result Of Current Health Crisis

CT residents can shop and enroll in health insurance coverage until January 15, 2021

  • Access Health CT extended the 2021 Annual Open Enrollment period until January 15, 2021 as a result of the current health crisis, providing more time for CT residents to get covered.
  • If individuals choose a plan during the extension, the coverage will start on February 1, 2021.
  • If customers are already covered by an insurance plan through Access Health CT for January 2021 and would like to pick a new plan starting in February 2021, they must first pay their January monthly bill (premium).

HARTFORD, Conn. (December 16, 2020)—Access Health CT (AHCT) today announced an extension for the 2021 Annual Open Enrollment period until January 15, 2021 as a result of the current health crisis, providing more time for CT residents to get covered.

via Connect for Health Colorado:

Connect for Health Colorado Offers Coloradans Through Dec. 18 to Enroll in Health Insurance Starting Jan. 1

DENVER — To help as many people as possible sign up for health insurance that begins on the first day of 2021, Connect for Health Colorado has decided to extend the deadline for January 1 coverage to this Friday, Dec. 18.

“Too many Coloradans have been left unemployed, uninsured and are struggling to get by as the pandemic grows,” said Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson. “By giving people a few extra days this week to get the coverage they need right on January 1st, we can ease some of the strain people are feeling. Financial help is available to reduce costs and local experts can also provide free enrollment assistance.”

Access Lower Premiums and Health Care Costs

A reminder from MNsure, Minnesota's ACA exchange:

The Final Countdown; MNsure's Open Enrollment Period Ends December 22 at Midnight

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Minnesotans looking for health insurance coverage starting January 1, 2021, have until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, December 22 to enroll in coverage through MNsure.org. The federal health insurance exchange, HealthCare.gov, ends its enrollment period today, but Minnesotans have an extra week to enroll through MNsure.

"There is still time to get 2021 health care coverage through MNsure," said MNsure CEO Nate Clark. "Minnesotans have through December 22 to sign up for comprehensive health insurance and access the financial help that makes it more affordable. But, don’t wait! Visit MNsure.org today so you can be sure you’re covered in the new year."

Need help? MNsure's Contact Center will provide extended hours leading up to the deadline:

This letter was sent to CMS Administrator Seema Verma over the weekend by Peter Lee, Executive Director of Covered California:

Dear Administrator Verma:

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge across the nation, endangering Americans and filling our hospitals from coast to coast. In the middle of this rising crisis, nearly 80 percent of the health insurance marketplaces, including all of those supported by the federally facilitated exchange (FFE) and a small number of state-based exchanges, are set to close their open-enrollment periods on December 15th.

We are writing to recommend that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) extend the Healthcare.gov open-enrollment period through January 31st or, at a minimum through December 30th, to allow Americans more time to sign up for health care coverage during this pandemic.

via Covered California:

As COVID-19 Pandemic Surges Across the State, Covered California Takes the Unprecedented Step of Giving Consumers Until Dec. 30 to Sign up Up for Coverage that That Begins on Jan. 1

via Your Health Idaho:

Less Than One Week to Enroll in 2021 Health Insurance

  • Your Health Idaho extends customer support hours ahead of Dec. 15 deadline

BOISE, Idaho – Idahoans have until 11:59 p.m. (MT) on Tuesday, Dec. 15, to enroll in 2021 health insurance coverage through Your Health Idaho, the state insurance exchange. After open enrollment ends, Idahoans will not be able to enroll in coverage unless they qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

“As expected after the Thanksgiving holiday, we have seen an increased interest from Idahoans looking to enroll in 2021 health insurance coverage,” said Your Health Idaho Executive Director, Pat Kelly. “To ensure consumers are getting the help they need, Your Health Idaho has expanded business hours through December and implemented new contact options.”

  • “Get Covered America Day” — Dec. 10 — is a call to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and a public statement that you want your family and friends to get health insurance.
  • With COVID-19 cases surging nationally, the day is a call to action to encourage people to post a picture of themselves wearing a mask on social media, include a personal message about the importance of being COVID-safe and how friends, family and neighbors can get financial help for insurance now, sharing the website GetCovered2021.org and using the hashtag #GetCovered2021.
  • With an estimated 16 million uninsured Americans eligible for financial help — through their Affordable Care Act marketplace, or free coverage through Medicaid — Get Covered 2021 encourages people to check their health care options and get insured.

    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

      Me, June 16th, after several months of various state-based ACA exchanges bumping out their COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period deadlines by a month, then another month, then another month:

      At a certain point I'm guessing at least one of the state exchanges will just say "screw it" and open 2020 enrollment up for the full year.

      The point of a deadline is a) to prevent people from trying to game the system by deliberately waiting until they're sick/injured before enrolling in coverage (thus driving up premiums for everyone else) and b) to goad people into actually taking action (deadlines do have a clear positive impact on enrollment). With the COVID-19 pandemic having thrown the entire healthcare system into disarray, neither of those seem to be much of a factor this year.

      Maryland Connect, August 7th:

      Me, June 16th, after several months of various state-based ACA exchanges bumping out their COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period deadlines by a month, then another month, then another month:

      I admit that this is starting to get a bit silly. At a certain point I'm guessing at least one of the state exchanges will just say "screw it" and open 2020 enrollment up for the full year.

      The point of a deadline is a) to prevent people from trying to game the system by deliberately waiting until they're sick/injured before enrolling in coverage (thus driving up premiums for everyone else) and b) to goad people into actually taking action (deadlines do have a clear positive impact on enrollment). With the COVID-19 pandemic having thrown the entire healthcare system into disarray, neither of those seem to be much of a factor this year.

      Maryland Connect, August 7th:

      Just a few days after the previous COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period expired, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered NY State of Health to reopen their SEP through September 15th:

      Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Special Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers will be extended for another 30 days, through September 15, 2020, as the State continues to provide supportive services during the COVID-19 public health crisis. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York State's health insurance marketplace, or directly through insurers.

      "While we've crushed the curve of the virus, we are still in challenging times for hard-working families throughout the state who need access to quality, affordable health care," Governor Cuomo said. "The state has maintained low infection rates and is moving in the right direction, but we know we're not out of the woods yet. By offering this special enrollment period, we're making sure New Yorkers who need affordable and at times live-saving health care coverage can get it."

      Hardly surprising...again.

      via the New York State government website:

      Special Enrollment for Uninsured New Yorkers Will Extend for Additional 30 days and Remain Open Through August 15, 2020

      Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Special Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers will be extended for another 30 days, through August 15, 2020, as the State continues to provide supportive services during the COVID-19 public health crisis. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York State's health insurance marketplace, or directly through insurers.

      The big story with COVID-19 the past few weeks has been, of course, the out-of-control increase in new cases (if not actual deaths...yet) from the virus in red states like Texas, Florida and especially Arizona which were relatively unscathed throughout the spring while the pandemic was raging across Northeastern blue states like New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island, as well as Michigan and California.

      While most of the states being hit with the summer wave are historically Republican strongholds (the states being hit hardest in June/July also include Georgia, Arkansas, South Carolina, etc.), there's one important exception to this: California, which was hit early but which clamped down fairly quickly, has re-emerged as a major hot spot. So what gives?

      On April 14th, Covered California reported that 58,000 residents had enrolled in ACA exchange coverage during their COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period, of which roughly 20,000 did so via standard SEPs (losing coverage, moving, getting married/divorced, etc), while an additional 38,000 took advantage of the COVID-specific SEP.

      On April 28th, they announced that the number was up to 84,000 new ACA exchange enrollees, averaging around 2.5x as many as enrolled via standard Special Enrollment Periods during the same period a year ago.

      On May 20th, they announced the total was up to 123,000 new ACA exchange enrollees via the COVID SEP, "nearly" 2.5x the rate of a year before.

      Back in April, I noted that the DC Health Link ACA exchange had announced what appeared to be a special enrollment period specifically intended for employees of small businesses via the ACA's SHOP program, through September 15th, 2020:

      DC Health Link Expands Opportunities to Get Covered During Public Health Emergency

      Monday, April 6, 2020

      Responding to COVID-19 pandemic, DC Health Link permits uninsured employees of DC small businesses that offer health insurance through DC Health Link to get covered now

      On March 20th, the Vermont Health Connect ACA exchange joined other state-based exchanges in launching a formal COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period.

      On April 15th, just ahead of the original SEP deadline, they bumped it out by a month:

      Due to the COVID-19 emergency, Vermont Health Connect has opened a Special Enrollment Period until May 15, 2020. During this time, any uninsured Vermonter can sign up for a Qualified Health Plan through Vermont Health Connect. Qualified families can also get financial help paying for coverage.. Please call us at 1-855-899-9600 to learn more.

      Then, with the May deadline approaching, I took a look and sure enough, they've bumped it out another month:

      On March 16th, New York's ACA exchange, NY State of Health, announced that they'd be launching a COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period with a deadline of April 15th. As that date approached, in the middle of the worst pandemic to hit New York State 100 years, the deadline was extended out by a month, through May 15th.

      When that deadline approached, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the COVID-19 SEP to be bumped out by another month.

      And now, with the June 15th deadline having come and gone, lo and behold:

      Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced low-risk youth sports for regions in phase three of reopening can begin on July 6th with up to two spectators allowed per child. 

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