I've received an important reminder from the folks at HealthCare.Gov:
Continued Enrollment Opportunity for Consumers with Unemployment Compensation
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides additional savings to help consumers access affordable, quality health coverage options, including expanded opportunities for those who received or are approved to receive unemployment compensation in 2021.
Starting July 1, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) added a new function to HealthCare.gov to allow consumers who receive or are approved to receive unemployment compensation for any week beginning during 2021 to access new savings on health insurance coverage, if they qualify.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Overall, enrollment during the 2021 COVID SEP is up 3.5x vs. the same time period in 2019, which makes sense when you consider a) the COVID pandemic which has caused millions to lose their income and/or employer-based healthcare coverage; b) the "fully open" status of the COVID SEP; and c) the expanded subsidies put in place under the American Rescue Plan.
SEP enrollment is also up 2.4x over the same time period in 2020; COVID was in full force for most of that period last year, but HC.gov refused to launch a "wide open" SEP as most of the state-based exchanges did, nor were there any expanded subsidies in place, so 2019 is still the more appropriate year to compare against. (Besides, 2020 was a leap year, which tacked an extra day onto the total).
HHS Secretary Becerra Announces Nearly 940,000 Americans Have Signed Up for Health Coverage through HealthCare.gov During Special Enrollment Period
Since April 1, premiums have been reduced by over 40 percent for nearly 2 million current HealthCare.gov enrollees
Today, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra announced that nearly 940,000 Americans have signed up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov as a result of the Biden Administration’s Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. The 2021 SEP, along with the additional financial assistance afforded by the American Rescue Plan (ARP), offers individuals and families an opportunity to take advantage of reduced premiums, increased savings, and quality, affordable health coverage through HealthCare.gov.