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Special Enrollment Period Spurs 2 Million People to Sign up for Health Coverage In Less Than 5 Months

Analysis  |  By Alexandra Wilson Pecci  
   July 14, 2021

CMS also reports that 2.5 million people have reduced their monthly premiums after advance payments of premium tax credits during the Special Enrollment Period, which ends August 15.

More than 2 million people have signed up for health coverage during the Biden-Harris Administration's 2021 Special Enrollment Period, which opened on February 15 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS reports.

CMS's June Marketplace Special Enrollment Period report shows that so far, 1.5 million Americans have signed up on, and an additional 600,000 enrolled in coverage through the 15 state-based Marketplaces. The Special Enrollment Period will last until August 15.

Here are some additional enrollment numbers from the new report:

  • 2.5 million consumers have returned to the Marketplace and reduced their monthly premiums after advance payments of premium tax credits (APTC) by 40%, from $104 to $62.
  • Of the new and returning consumers who have selected a plan since April 1, 34% selected a plan that costs $10 or less per month after the American Rescue Plan's premium reductions.
  • For new consumers selecting plans under the special enrollment period, the average monthly premium after APTC fell by 25%.
  • The median deductible for new consumers during the special enrollment period fell by nearly 90%.
  • Nearly 10.4 million individuals enrolled in coverage between February 2020 and February 2021, a 14.7% increase.
  • There were 22,923,019 users and 1,082,379 from February 15-June 30.

In addition, the February 2021 Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment Trends Snapshot showed that:

  • 81 million received coverage through Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as of February 2021.
  • An additional 500,000 children and adults enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP from January to February 2021.

The Special Enrollment Period opened as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.

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