Back in April we promised to follow up on the American Rescue Plan’s (ARP’s) impact on the health insurance market. As you may recall, the ARP offered larger premium tax credits to a greater number of people who obtain coverage through Affordable Care Act health plans. It also created an extended special enrollment period (SEP) that’s slated to end on August 15th.
Here’s the good news from the ARP’s impact on 2021 enrollments:
- CMS reports that over 1.2 million Americans signed up for health insurance under the extended SEP as of June 1st.
- 3 million consumers reduced their monthly health insurance rates by applying for additional premium tax credits.
- State-based marketplaces and healthcare.gov helped spur additional enrollments by promoting the SEP along with health plans. This included CMS teaming up with Stride’s Portable Benefits platform to help independent contractors enroll in an ACA health plan during a “Gig Workers Week of Action”.
As one ACA window closes, another opens up.
Now that the 2021 SEP is coming to a close next month, marketers are readying themselves for 2022 ACA Open Enrollment which begins November 1st. As Direct Choice embarks on developing acquisition and retention/re-enrollment campaigns for its clients, we are taking into consideration some unique post-pandemic factors:
- Lower rates are here to stay for those who qualify for subsidies. The ARP’s boost in tax credits is applicable through 2022 — a fact that could encourage members to stick with a current plan rather than shop around for savings.
- Individual plan members who skew older, including independent contractors and early retires, may decide to shop ACA plans because they now qualify for premium credits boosted by the ARP.
- As many Americans re-think their career choices, they may need an ACA plan for 2022. Food service workers, for example, may not immediately return to work as they search for alternatives. Others may choose to freelance or return to school.
Be on the lookout for more changes impacting ACA plan enrollments. Biden’s American Families Plan, currently with Congress, will make the ARP’s temporary increase in premium credits permanent. In addition, CMS is proposing extending the ACA Open Enrollment Period deadline of December 15th to January 15th. We will keep you in the know as the ACA health insurance marketing environment continues to evolve.