WASHINGTON – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing that the Open Enrollment Period for the Federal Health Insurance Exchange officially began at HealthCare.gov on Nov. 1 and will run through Tuesday, Dec. 15. Consumers will be able to log in to HealthCare.gov and CuidadodeSalud.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 to fill out an application and enroll in a 2021 Exchange health plan for coverage starting as soon as Jan. 1, 2021.
Recently, CMS released a report showing the third consecutive year of improving market conditions, including lower premiums and more plan options. Three years of declining average second lowest cost silver plan (benchmark plan) premiums have combined to deliver an 8% average premium reduction across states using HealthCare.gov since the 2018 coverage year. Many consumers coming to HealthCare.gov will also find they have more options, given that issuer participation has also increased for the third year in a row. The percentage of HealthCare.gov enrollees with access to only one issuer is decreasing from 29% in 2018 to 4% in 2021 and more than three quarters of HealthCare.gov enrollees will have access to at least three issuers in 2021.
Current enrollees who don’t update their application and enroll in a plan by the deadline on Dec. 15 will generally be automatically enrolled in the same plan, or another plan with the same insurance company intended to be as similar as possible. If that’s not available, they will generally be enrolled in another plan with a different insurance company. Consumers who miss the deadline to re-enroll in a plan of their choice during Open Enrollment will also not be able to make any plan changes until the next coverage year unless they qualify for certain Special Enrollment Periods.
Combined with improvements to the market, the updates to HealthCare.gov will provide a better consumer experience with more choices. To maximize enrollment opportunities for consumers in the Alaska and Hawaii time zones, individuals will have an additional two hours beyond the 11:59 p.m. PT Dec. 15 deadline to enroll in coverage. CMS encourages new and returning consumers to take this opportunity starting Nov. 1 to update their information, review their options and decide on coverage that best meets their needs for 2021 by the Dec. 15 deadline for Exchange health coverage.
To view the 2021 Fact Sheet for more information, visit: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/federal-health-insurance-exchange-2021-open-enrollment