The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra announced that more than half a million consumers have now signed up for health coverage through HealthCare.gov as a consequence of the Biden Administration’s Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.
- Fresh reports from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which meets plan selections from February 15 to March 31, also show profits in enrollment among historically uninsured communities, including Black consumers and Americans near the poverty level. Of claimants who identified a race, 17% identified as Black – compared to about 11% in both 2020 and 2019 during the same time period. Among consumers requesting financial compensation, 41% report being at or slightly above the federal poverty level, corresponded to 38% in 2020 and 33% in 2019.
- HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said, “Since the commencement of this Special Enrollment Period’s availability on HealthCare.gov, more than 500,000 Americans have already signed up for coverage on HealthCare.gov. Now, thanks to the American Rescue Plan, health care coverage is more affordable and millions of Americans are seeing their premiums reduced. At HHS, we are going to build on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and work tirelessly to ensure Americans have the chance to sign up for quality, affordable health care coverage that meets their needs.”
- Nearly 15 million Americans who currently require health insurance, and many current enrollees, are qualified to receive additional financial support in obtaining Marketplace coverage as part of the ARP. An aggregate of four out of five consumers currently enrolled in Marketplace coverage can now find a plan for $10 or less per month after financial compensation.
- As of April 1, 2021, premiums are anticipated to decrease by an average of $50-per-person, per month – and $85-per-policy, per month with the implementation of the enhanced financial assistance available under the ARP. Current Marketplace enrollees, including those who newly enrolled through the 2021 SEP, can refresh their application and enrollment during the SEP to obtain increased advance payments of the premium tax credit for 2021 Marketplace coverage.