Date: November 2, 2021
Today marks the start of the HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment Period. This year, on top of providing health care plans at record-low costs, the Biden-Harris Administration has extended the Marketplace Open Enrollment Period by 30 days through January 15 to ensure everyone possible has enough time to get covered. To help communities with disproportionately high uninsurance rates, the Biden-Harris Administration has quadrupled its Navigator footprint of people who can assist with the process of getting covered. With 1500 Navigators, the Administration has made assistance available in nearly every county in the country.
Thanks to the American Rescue Plan (ARP), coverage is also critically more affordable than ever. Four out of five people can find a plan for $10 or less per month with this newly expanded financial assistance. Additionally, there are more coverage options this season than last, with the average consumer being able to choose between six and seven insurance companies with plan options.
“Starting today, anyone who needs health insurance can find an affordable option at HealthCare.gov,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The Biden-Harris Administration is investing in the most robust Open Enrollment campaign — with record-low prices, more choices and 30 more days to pick a plan than last season. Health care should be a right and in reach for everyone. This Open Enrollment season, we will get closer to achieving that goal.”
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which drives marketing and oversees the Navigator program on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has made strides to also ensure material is available to as wide a group of people as possible:
- In total, there are over 5,500 assisters today (including Navigators, certified application counselors, and other assisters) and over 48,000 agents and brokers.
- CMS has also re-launched its “Champions for Coverage” program, which includes more than 2,100 local organizations that will provide outreach and education about the Marketplace and how consumers can enroll in coverage.
Health equity is also a central component of HHS’s marketing and outreach efforts. Through CMS, the Department is concentrating its outreach on people who are most in need of care and who have historically lacked access. Additionally, marketing efforts will include content in many different languages. CMS has expanded its Spanish outreach and, for the first time, CMS will also conduct advertising in Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Hindi.
“If you are in need of health care coverage, please go today to HealthCare.gov where you will find health care coverage that is more affordable than ever,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “This Open Enrollment Period consumers will have access to more plan options, more help, for an even longer period of time to enroll. For families in need, that means experiencing the security of having comprehensive health insurance coverage for themselves and their loved ones.”
As a recent HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) report showed, increases in Medicaid and Marketplace enrollment help offset decreases in employer-sponsored coverage tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. When health coverage is accessible and affordable, people sign up.
All consumers shopping for health insurance coverage on HealthCare.gov — even those who currently have coverage through the Marketplace — should enroll or re-enroll starting today by logging in to HealthCare.gov and CuidadodeSalud.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 to fill out an application.
To find local help or to be contacted by a Marketplace-registered agent or broker, consumers should go to https://www.healthcare.gov/find-assistance/. Consumers, including current enrollees, generally need to choose a plan by December 15 for full year coverage to start on January 1. Plans selected after December 15 and by the January 15 Open Enrollment deadline will generally start February 1.
To encourage even more people to enroll in health care coverage, the Biden-Harris Administration has launched testimonial advertisements that feature stories of people who have found significant savings on HealthCare.gov. The testimonials include people, such as:
- Katherine and Gavin from Woodlands, TX, a married couple covered through their family plan where they pay $57 per month with financial assistance; and
- Valeria from Hialeah, FL, a mother of two young children who found a family plan that pays for $0 per month with financial assistance.
Consumers in states operating their own Marketplace platform can also enroll in a 2022 Marketplace plan starting today. Consumers in these states can find information about available plans and prices, how to obtain in-person or virtual help, and news on local events by visiting or calling their state’s Marketplace. State-based Marketplace enrollment deadlines and other information are available in the State-based Marketplace Open Enrollment Fact Sheet.
Find out more about key highlights and improvements in the Marketplace 2022 Open Enrollment Season via this fact sheet: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/marketplace-2022-open-enrollment-fact-sheet.
To see the 2022 Issuer Participation County Map; visit: https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/Health-Insurance-Marketplaces/Health-Insurance-Exchange-Coverage-Maps.