Feature

Open enrollment 2021: A big start for HealthCare.gov


 

Over 818,000 plans were selected for the 2021 coverage year during the first week, Nov.1-7, of this year’s open enrollment on the federal health insurance exchange, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The bulk of those plans, nearly 79%, were renewals by consumers who had coverage through the federal exchange this year. The balance covers new plans selected by individuals who were not covered through HealthCare.gov this year, the CMS noted in a written statement .

The total enrollment for week 1 marks a considerable increase over last year’s first week of open enrollment, which saw approximately 177,000 plans selected , but Nov. 1 fell on a Friday in 2019, so that total represents only 2 days since weeks are tracked as running from Sunday to Saturday, the CMS explained.

For the 2021 benefit year, the HealthCare.gov platform covers 36 states, down from 38 for the 2020 benefit year, because New Jersey and Pennsylvania have “transitioned to their own state-based exchange platforms,” the CMS noted, adding that the two accounted for 7% of all plans selected last year.

“The final number of plan selections associated with enrollment activity during a reporting period may change due to plan modifications or cancellations,” CMS said, and its weekly snapshot “does not report the number of consumers who have paid premiums to effectuate their enrollment.”

This year’s open-enrollment period on HealthCare.gov is scheduled to conclude Dec. 15.

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