Launching a new special-enrollment period – Covered California will open a new special-enrollment period – which will start on Monday, April 12 and run through the end of the year – to give uninsured and unsubsidized Californians time to sign up for coverage that starts as soon as May 1 and continue the outreach and enrollment effort to have marketing pay-off over time.
Today, President Biden announced that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is extending access to the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) until August 15 – giving consumers additional time to take advantage of new savings through the American Rescue Plan. This action provides new and current enrollees an additional three months to enroll or re-evaluate their coverage needs with increased tax credits available to reduce premiums.
In previous years, New York State of Health has typically been pretty good about providing timely Open Enrollment reports, so I was mildly irritated by their total radio silence on the issue throughout the 2021 Open Enrollment Period (OEP).
My suspicion was that, like many other states which have expanded Medicaid, New York likely saw a significant drop in on-exchange Qualified Health Plan (QHP) enrollment this season due to the massive job & income loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic last year, as people "downshifted" from QHPs over to Medicaid. In addition, New York is one of only two states which has the ACA's Basic Health Program (BHP) in place; BHP (called the Essential Plan in NY), is sandwiched in between QHPs and Medicaid, for residents earning between 138 - 200% FPL.
Amid Global Pandemic, High-Quality Health Insurance More Important Than Ever
As part of New York's ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Open Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers will be extended through March 31, 2021. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York's Official Health Plan Marketplace, or directly through insurers.
ALBANY, N.Y. (January 06, 2021) – NY State of Health, the state’s official health plan Marketplace, wants New Yorkers to know it is not too late to get health insurance coverage for 2021, even if they have missed the December 31 enrollment deadline. The Marketplace is reminding consumers to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) by January 15 for coverage effective February 1.
“NY State of Health remains steadfast in our commitment to getting uninsured New Yorkers the coverage they deserve,” said NY State of Health Executive Director, Donna Frescatore. “The marketplace continues to provide affordable, comprehensive health care options during the COVID-19 public health emergency, and we encourage anyone who needs health insurance to enroll now.”
The Marketplace offers many quality, low-cost health insurance options, with a choice of insurers in every county. Free enrollment assistors are available by phone to help individuals find the best plan for themselves and their families.
Press Release: As Key Enrollment Deadline Approaches, NY State of Health is Urging Consumers to Sign up Today for Health Coverage Starting January 1
ALBANY, N.Y. (December 29, 2020) - NY State of Health, New York’s official health plan Marketplace today is reminding New Yorkers who are applying for Qualified Health Plan coverage, there is still time to enroll for health coverage effective January 1, 2021. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NY State of Health is giving New Yorkers more time to enroll in Qualified Health Plan Coverage – consumers who sign up by December 31, 2020, will have coverage starting January 1, 2021.
“High-quality, affordable health coverage is more important than ever as the pandemic continues to surge,” said NY State of Health Executive Director, Donna Frescatore. “With the December 31 deadline quickly approaching we encourage anyone who needs coverage to view their options, sign up today and start the New Year with appropriate coverage.”
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).
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.
It's turned into an annual tradition: The official annual ACA Open Enrollment Period (OEP) runs from November 1st - December 15th, but most of the state-based ACA exchanges have later deadlines. hThen, right around the 12/15 point, it begins: One by one, some of the state-based exchanges announce further extensions of their deadlines to #GetCovered for the upcoming year.
In some cases they simply bump out the deadline for coverage starting in January, with the final "hard" deadline for February or March coverage staying where it is. In other cases they were never allowing Open Enrollment start dates past January to begin with, so it's the hard deadline which is being extended.
In any event, here's this year's batch of announcements; note that this list could grow longer over the next week or two:
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.