In accordance with the recent executive order signed by President Biden regarding strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have announced that the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for the Health Insurance Marketplace has officially begun.
While millions of people throughout the country remain uninsured or underinsured, the SEP provides individuals and families the opportunity to enroll in necessary health coverage. With the start date of February 15, 2021, the SEP is now available to eligible consumers in the 36 states that use the www.HealthCare.gov platform and will continue to be available through May 15, 2021. The remaining 13 states, along with the District of Columbia, which operate their own Marketplace platforms, have decided to offer a similar opportunity.
“This Special Enrollment Period will give Americans who need affordable, quality health insurance an opportunity to get covered, and we encourage folks to head to HealthCare.gov to explore their options.”Norris Cochran, HHS Acting Secretary
90% of consumers enrolled in coverage through the platform receive financial assistance along with essential health benefits such as access to primary care visits and coverage for several preventive care services with no out-of-pocket costs. 75% of consumers can purchase a plan for $50 or less per month after utilizing provided financial assistance.
In order to use this SEP, current enrollees will need to use their existing application and make any necessary changes to receive an updated eligibility result which is required before they can continue to enrollment. For those who would like to find out if they are eligible to enroll, you can do so by visiting www.HealthCare.gov, or www.CuidadoDeSalud.gov. Additionally, consumers can call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596, which offers assistance in over 150 languages.
CMS intends to release data on consumer activities during the SEP for each month as consumers apply and enroll. The first report is anticipated to be released in early March, which envelops consumers who applied and enrolled through the SEP in February and have coverage starting March 1, 2021.
CMS is encouraging new consumers and current enrollees to utilize this opportunity to review their options and decide on the coverage that best accommodates their lifestyle and health needs.
For additional information, visit the CMS Website.
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