#GetCovered By Aug. 15: 2021 Special Enrollment Period Extended!
By Theo Smith, Associate, Marketing & Communications
Over 940,000 Americans have enrolled in health plans through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace since the Biden Administration opened the 2021 Special Enrollment Period on Feb. 15, 2021. In April, the ACA subsidies were expanded in the American Rescue Plan COVID-19 relief package, and approximately 469,000 people signed up for health care coverage during that month alone. That’s a 45 percent increase from the 322,000 sign-ups reported in March.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic was classified a national public health emergency, millions of Americans have been facing unprecedented challenges and experiencing new and uncertain health problems. This includes over 16 million people that lost their employer-sponsored health insurance during the pandemic. Now, more than ever, uninsured and underinsured Americans are in need of affordable, comprehensive health insurance coverage. The nearly 15 million eligible, uninsured Americans can now sign up for coverage through the ACA Marketplace.
HealthCare.gov offers people with chronic diseases and disabilities access to health insurance without charging more for pre-existing conditions, while covering medicines and doctor visits. Coverage through HealthCare.gov is also now more affordable than ever. Because of new changes, more people are eligible for financial help to afford premiums. No one can pay more than 8.5 percent of their income on their premiums, and more people than ever are eligible for $0 premiums. The 2021 Special Enrollment Period was extended to Aug. 15.
According to the Department of Health & Human Services, more people have signed up during the 2021 Special Enrollment Period than during the 2020 and 2019 Open Enrollment Periods, which had 209,000 and 171,000 enrollees respectively.
Additionally, data suggest a more diverse set of Americans are enrolling in health insurance coverage through the 2021 Special Enrollment Period than in the past. The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported that from Feb. 15 through March 31, 17 percent of enrollees identified as Black, compared to almost 11 percent during the same period in 2020 and 2019. There has also been a large increase in lower income Americans enrolling in health plans through the 2021 Special Enrollment Period. Among enrollees who requested financial assistance, 41 percent have a household income between 100 percent and 138 percent of the federal poverty level, compared to 38 percent in 2020 and 33 percent in 2019.
Eligible users must go to HealthCare.gov to submit new applications or update existing applications to enroll in 2021 health insurance coverage. Visit the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to learn more about eligibility and enrollment.
There are still three months left in the 2021 Special Enrollment Period. Find a plan that’s right for you and your family today! Go to HealthCare.gov to #GetCovered today!
Visit our 2021 Special Enrollment Period Resource page to find more information and social media messages to share with your network.