OPEN ENROLLMENT HAS BEGUN!
By: Allen Pinn, Coordinator, Policy
In 2022, the United States’ uninsured rate dropped to its lowest percentage in history at 8.0 percent. This year’s Open Enrollment could continue this downward trend for individuals living without health insurance.
On November 1, 2022, Open Enrollment began for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance Marketplace. This will be the 10th Open Enrollment period since the ACA was signed into law in March 2010. Individuals interested in gaining coverage can visit HealthCare.gov to enroll in a plan through January 15, 2023. Individuals who enroll in a plan by December 15, 2022, will gain coverage starting January 1, 2023.
This year’s Open Enrollment is marked by significant changes including enhanced subsidies, “family glitch” remedy, and increased navigators.
The result of these three changes means that some people who previously found ACA plans to be unaffordable may have an easier time affording coverage and should check Healthcare.gov or contact a Navigator to learn about their options.
Under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), enhanced subsidies will be targeted at reducing the cost of health insurance by making more people eligible for financial assistance and making the assistance more generous. . Previously, under the American Rescue Plan, Congress increased ACA premium tax credits and eligibility for the tax credits to individuals living at 400 percent above the federal poverty level. These changes will stay in effect through 2025 under the IRA, making insurance more affordable for more people.
Remedy to the “Family Glitch”
An estimated five million Americans fell into the “family glitch”, a policy which prevented millions of employees’ family members from receiving health coverage through the ACA Marketplace, even if their employer-sponsored family insurance plan was unaffordable. In October 2022, the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service issued a final rule which revised a 2013 rule that created the “glitch.” This change will mean millions of individuals who were previously denied coverage under the ACA will now have the opportunity to enroll. The new rule will go into effect December 12, 2022.
This year’s Open Enrollment will include more assistance than years prior. In August 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a $98.9 million investment in 59 Navigator organizations to assist with the 2023 Open Enrollment period. The investment is the largest of its kind related to Navigator funding and is expected to help millions of Americans understand the ACA marketplace. For the 2023 Open Enrollment period, Navigator organizations will focus their efforts on outreach to underserved and marginalized communities such as people living in rural communities, LGBTQIA members, and racial/ethnic minorities.