COVID SEP ENROLLMENT NUMBERS
Last month was the start of a COVID Special Enrollment Period (SEP). The SEP is going on now and will last for three months, ending on May 15, 2021. This week, CMS gave the first indication of how well the COVID SEP is going. On Wednesday, CMS reported that over 200,000 individuals had selected new plans during the SEP. You can read more about this in CMS’s 2021 Marketplace Special Enrollment Period Report.
CMS also announced that they would be offering additional funding for the navigator program in states in the federally facilitated marketplace (FFM). The additional $2.3 million will be available to the 30 organizations leading outreach efforts in the 28 states on the FFM. You can read more about this announcement in the CMS press release.
If you want to read more about both of these announcements from CMS, you can check out the blog post from Health Affairs.
To learn more about how the COVID SEP differs from prior SEPs, check out our NDNRC blog post from last week. If you want to learn more about the COVID SEP, check out the news item about the COVID SEP announcement or the news item we published on February 15 when the COVID SEP started, where we outline what someone needs if they want to take advantage of the COVID SEP.
The COVID SEP only affects people who live in states that are on the FFM (healthcare.gov). However, many State Based Marketplaces (SBMs) have also announced that they will be opening COVID SEPs or extending their already ongoing Open Enrollments. For a full list of SBMs who have announced COVID SEPs and the actual dates for those SEPs, check out our blog post.
In an effort to highlight the COVID SEP, AAHD has a project with Community Catalyst and other partners in conducting outreach to educate individuals about health insurance enrollment through the ACA Marketplace and Medicaid. This outreach includes graphics like the one below which highlight the opportunity to enroll due to COVID. These graphics are available in the Community Catalyst Outreach Hub. You can also check out the social media toolkit Community Catalyst created for the COVID SEP.
A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation examines the priority (or lack thereof) for people with disabilities as it relates to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Families USA has released a new report which examines how a lack of insurance affects the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 and could even lead to a higher rate of death for those without insurance.
In prior newsletters, we’ve been writing about the potential COVID relief bill which Congress is considering and what it could mean for coverage under the ACA and Medicaid. Over the weekend, the House passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Here are some writeups from organizations which explain what the provisions in this legislation could mean for the ACA marketplace and Medicaid.
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: House Bill Gives States Incentive to Quickly Expand Medicaid, Cover Millions of Uninsured
- Community Catalyst: American Rescue Plan Strengthens Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services
- National Academy for State Health Policy: American Rescue Plan Could Significantly Enhance Health Insurance Coverage
The NIDILRR-funded Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living (CHRIL) at the University of Kansas is looking for adults with disabilities to complete an online survey about health insurance, health care access and the current pandemic. To complete the survey, go to: 2021 National Survey on Health and Disability. For more information on who should complete the survey and to learn about the drawing they are having for gift cards, check out our news item.
Archives of our weekly updates are available on the NDNRC website.