Ahead of January 15th Open Enrollment Deadline, New Numbers Show 14.2 Million Americans Have Quality, Affordable Coverage – Many With Even Lower Deductibles Under the American Rescue Plan

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By CMS.gov

The Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure are making one final nationwide reminder to get Americans to sign up for quality, affordable health insurance on Healthcare.gov before the January 15, 2022 Open Enrollment deadline. This announcement is bolstered by a new HHS report that shows the majority of consumers enrolled in Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage on HealthCare.gov have deductibles under $1,000 thanks to the ACA’s cost-sharing reductions (CSRs). The report, produced by HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), shows that CSRs provide substantial financial protection to eligible Marketplace enrollees by lowering deductibles, co-payments, and out-of-pocket maximums. And now, thanks to the general financial assistance under the American Rescue Plan (ARP), many enrollees are likely to find quality, affordable coverage with even lower deductibles.  

“Health coverage should not make or break anyone’s bank, particularly amidst a once-in-a-generation pandemic,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. “As this report shows, people across America can buy high quality health insurance for historically low prices, thanks to the American Rescue Plan and the Affordable Care Act. The Biden-Harris Administration will continue to build on the success of these important laws to ensure health care is accessible to everyone who needs it. We urge everyone to sign up for affordable health coverage by the January 15 deadline.” 

“Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration and the greater financial assistance under the American Rescue Plan, most enrollees now have access to lower cost-sharing in the Marketplaces,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “This ASPE report validates the remarkable impact of the ACA and the American Rescue Plan for people who need quality health care coverage. Consumers still have time to take advantage of this financial help by enrolling before January 15.”  

The ASPE analysis of CMS data from the 2021 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) shows that just over half (51 percent) of HealthCare.gov consumers who enrolled during the 2021 OEP received CSRs, making plans with CSRs the typical selection in HealthCare.gov. Silver metal tier plan deductibles after CSRs among HealthCare.gov enrollees decreased from $1,000 to $750 between 2017 and 2021, prior to implementation of the ARP. CSRs are generally available to consumers with incomes up to 250 percent of the federal poverty line (for example, for 2022, for most states $32,200 for a single adult and $66,250 for a family of four). 

Among new consumers enrolling through the 2021 HealthCare.gov Special Enrollment Period, the median deductible fell from $450 to $50 after the ARP premium reduction provisions were implemented on April 1, 2021, indicating that most new consumers are opting into generous silver plans with CSRs. 

Over the past decade, deductibles have generally been rising in private insurance plans, but today more than half of Marketplace enrollees receive the ACA’s generous CSRs, and for plans with CSRs, median deductibles have been decreasing year-over-year. HealthCare.gov enrollees with CSRs generally have smaller deductibles than those with employer coverage; where employer coverage deductibles averaged over $1,400 in 2021.  By offering even greater financial assistance to consumers, the ARP has led to a shift towards plan enrollment with lower deductibles. 

The latest data shows that more than 14.2 million people have selected plans for 2022 health coverage since the start of the 2022 OEP on November 1, 2021. This includes over 10 million people selecting plans or being automatically re-enrolled in Marketplace coverage through January 12, 2022 in the 33 states with Marketplaces using HealthCare.gov. The 17 states and the District of Columbia with State-based Marketplaces (SBMs) that use their own platforms reported to CMS that through January 8, 2021, 4.2 million selected plans or were automatically re-enrolled in a plan for 2022 health coverage. 

There is still time to select a quality health insurance plan for the new year. The Biden-Harris Administration extended this year’s HealthCare.gov OEP until January 15, 2022, for coverage starting on February 1, 2022, to give an extra month to sign up for affordable and comprehensive coverage. 

Consumers can visit HealthCare.gov and CuidadoDeSalud.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 to fill out an application. To find local help consumers should go to https://localhelp.healthcare.gov. Consumers in states with SBMs should visit their Marketplace for additional information on coverage deadlines. 

Read the new ASPE report https://aspe.hhs.gov/reports/marketplace-deductibles-federal-platform-2017-2021.

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