Since the Biden administration decided to expand enrollment in the federal health insurance market under the pandemic relief law (American Rescue Plan, ARP), and several states with their own programs followed, 2.8 million people in the States United acquired new affordable health coverage.
Now, the next open enrollment period has been announced, when more people will have the opportunity to purchase health plans. This year, the annual window is the platform for a nationwide effort so that more members of vulnerable communities and low- to middle-income families can have the health care they need.
The nearly 3 million new policyholders signed up for affordable, and sometimes even free, health insurance depending on their income during an extended enrollment period set by the Biden administration. Of them, 2.1 million did so through healthcare.gov (healthcare.gov), and 738,000 through state markets.
19% of new consumers (532,000) identified as Latino.
Of the states that use the federal platform, Florida had the highest number of registrants: 542,067. Texas followed, with 416,987.
Of the states that manage their own health insurance markets, California led enrollment with 338,557 new policyholders.
In addition to private health plans, thousands of people used the federal and state insurance markets to enroll and find out if they qualified for Medicaid or their children for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The result: a historical record of beneficiaries, between them a total of 82.3 million. Of this total, 75,447,542 are Medicaid recipients, and 6,854,169 are CHIP recipients.
To give more people the ability to enroll, the Biden administration expanded subsidies, help paying premiums. Due:
- More than 90% of consumers had a reduction in their premiums
- This meant a savings of $ 67 per consumer per month.
- 48% of new consumers who purchased a plan through healthcare.gov had a premium of $ 10 or less, after applying the subsidies.
- Average deductibles for federal market consumers fell more than 90%.
What does all this mean for the common population? That now, low-income individuals or families, but also those with middle income, middle class, can get health insurance whose costs do not drain their income and savings if a medical situation or an emergency occurs.
This, in addition to the already known rules of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which considers access to health care as a right, prohibits discrimination against people with pre-existing medical conditions, and promotes the free screening tests.
New enrollment and national effort
The new open enrollment period (known in English as Open Enrollment) to purchase health insurance in the federal marketplace (health care.gov) will be from November 1, 2021 to January 15, 2022, as announced by the Centers for Medicare Services & Medicaid (CMS).
This time frame means 30 days longer than what the Trump administration offered, which had limited the enrollment window to 45 days.
States that run their own health insurance marketplaces are expected to have longer enrollment times as well.
Although millions have obtained health insurance since the ACA was enacted, many of them for the first time in their lives, as of 2021 still 10% of the nation’s population ages 19-64 do not have health coverage.
This percentage is higher among Latino and communities of color, especially young adults, under 50 years of age.
In a titanic effort to close that gap once and for all, the Biden administration has once again granted funding to expand the capabilities of browsers, marketplace enrollment experts that help consumers enroll with a cultural perspective. that is, understanding the client as a member of a community.
In addition, CMS will relaunch the “Champions for Coverage” program, which currently includes more than 1,000 community organizations across the country that work with the community, educating about health insurance and assisting with enrollment. The goal: to connect the community, especially in unprotected, urban and rural areas, with medical coverage, and close health disparities.
For consumers who want to purchase insurance in 2021, there will be more than 1,500 browsers available on the federal platform.
As part of this effort, CMS will also implement a special period each month exclusively for low-income enrollment, who will get free or extremely affordable plans. This alternative has the financial support granted by the American Rescue Plan.
Another novelty: also as part of this national plan, and so that people have many options to enroll, for the first time, the CMS will offer the states that use the federal platform the possibility of setting their own enrollment dates, as long as when they meet the initial 45 days, and extend beyond December 15. In other words, states cannot establish shorter periods.
What if you need insurance now
If the person or a dependent needs medical insurance immediately because they have undergone a certain change in their life and live in a state that already closed its platform until November 1, they can do so between now and that date in two ways:
- With a Special Enrollment Period. If you lose employment-based coverage, have a baby, get married, move, or have other qualifying life changes, you can enroll. In this enrollment process, you can also see if you can get help paying for coverage, even if you weren’t eligible in the past.
- Through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). You can apply at any time of the year and can enroll immediately if eligible.
Health insurance in your state
There are 36 states that use the federal platform. Are:
- Alabama, Alaska
- Arizona, Arkansas
- North Carolina, South Carolina
- North Dakota, South Dakota
- Delaware, Florida
- Georgia, Hawaii
- Illinois, indiana
- Iowa, Kansas
- Kentucky, Louisiana
- Maine, Michigan
- Mississippi, Missouri
- Montana, Nebraska
- New Hampshire, New Mexico
- Ohio, Oklahoma
- Oregon, Tennessee
- Texas, Utah
- Virginia, West Virginia
- Wisconsin, Wyoming
In addition to the District of Columbia, the 14 states that manage their own health insurance marketplaces are:
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
Why you should have health insurance
The following are at least 7 compelling reasons why you should have health coverage:
1) The pandemic. COVID-19 impacts more cruelly on people with pre-existing conditions. Those living with hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions are at higher risk of developing a more serious form of covid, and of dying from the infection. Today it is more important than ever to get medical care (not delay) to get pre-existing conditions under control. This is easier with health insurance.
2) Astronomical accounts. Health insurance can be expensive, but not having it can cost a lot more. An accident, a fracture, the diagnosis of a heart condition, high cholesterol, hypertension, a skin rash, an asthma attack, your child’s fall while riding a bike, can trigger unexpected visits to the doctor and a cataract of difficult medical bills. to pay.
3) Help paying. Your health insurance pays for your preventive medical expenses, and for other medical expenses in general when you have already reached the limit of your deductible (what you must pay out of your own pocket before the insurer begins to pay).
4) Family prevention. When all members of the family have health insurance, they tend to get more preventive care, get annual checkups, and get the required vaccinations and flu shots. If you have a medical situation or emergency and you do not have health insurance, the person will probably end up in an emergency room, which is much more expensive, either for your own pocket if you have the ability to pay that bill, or for the hospital if it has to absorb that expense.
5) Free care. When you have health insurance, by law you can get vaccinations and preventive checkups at no cost, even before you reach your deductible.
6) Belong to a network. By having insurance, you pay less when you receive care from health providers who are part of your medical plan, even before you reach your deductible.
7) Collective benefit. When a person pays for health insurance, the money from the premiums goes into a kind of pool that the insurer uses to pay for the medical expenses of its members. A healthy person spends less and, obviously, a person with medical conditions, more. That balance, which constantly changes because someone healthy can get sick, helps keep premiums (monthly payments) from increasing, as well as contributing to common health and well-being.
The help you need
Remember that health insurance gives you the peace of mind that in the event of any eventuality, accident or emergency, you and your family will have access to the best health professionals.
There are different ways to enroll in health insurance. The easiest thing to do is contact an agent to help you. You can call HolaInsurance at +1 (888) 258-7476. Help is provided here in Spanish.
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