Screenshot of Healthcare.gov website
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is extending the special enrollment period for Affordable Care Act coverage from May 15 until August 15.
The action provides new and current enrollees an additional three months to enroll or re-evaluate their coverage with increased tax credits made available through the Biden administration's American Rescue Plan.
WHY THIS MATTERS
The additional tax credits reduce premiums by an average of $50 per person, per month and $85 per policy per month. On average, one out of four enrollees on Heathcare.gov will be able to upgrade to a higher plan category that offers better out-of-pocket costs at the same or lower premium, compared with what they're paying today, CMS said.
The tax credit savings are expected to reduce the cost of coverage for nine million consumers currently receiving financial assistance by ensuring consumers who are eligible for premium tax credits have at least a couple of plans to choose from that won't cost more than 8.5% of their household income.
The goal of the additional enrollment period is to get people who are uninsured or underinsured covered for healthcare benefits. More than 200,000 people signed up for marketplace coverage through Healthcare.gov during the first two weeks of the special open enrollment that opened on February 15.
Following passage of the American Rescue Plan earlier this month more than 14.9 million Americans who currently lack health insurance and many current enrollees will receive additional financial support, the Biden Administration said.
Beginning in early July on Healthcare.gov, consumers who have received or have been determined eligible to receive unemployment compensation for any week during 2021 may be able to get another increase in savings when enrolling in new marketplace coverage or updating their existing plans.
THE LARGER TREND
The SEP is currently available to consumers in the 36 states that use the Healthcare.gov platform.
Consumers served by state-based marketplaces that use their own platform can check their state's website to find out more information on special enrollment periods in their state.
ON THE RECORD
"Every American deserves access to quality, affordable healthcare – especially as we fight back against the COVID-19 pandemic," said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. "Through this special enrollment period, the Biden administration is giving the American people the chance they need to find an affordable healthcare plan that works for them."
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