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Initial Data Shows Strong Start to New Special Enrollment Period

March 3, 2021
Contact: Juan Ramiro Sarmiento
(785) 760-6567 |

Initial Data Shows Strong Start to New Special Enrollment Period

(Washington, DC) – Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the first batch of enrollment data for the new special enrollment period (SEP) that began on February 15. During the two-week period between February 15 and February 28, 206,000 consumers enrolled in health coverage. In 2020, 76,000 consumers signed up for health coverage during that same time period, however, consumers would have needed to qualify for an SEP in 2020 due to a loss of coverage or a change in household size. During this SEP, anyone who is otherwise eligible may sign up for coverage.

In response, Erin Hemlin, Health Policy and Advocacy Director for Young Invincibles issued the following statement.

“Today’s enrollment data release shows what’s possible when the federal government actually invests in and supports the ACA marketplace – nearly three times as many sign-ups during this special enrollment period as compared to the same time last year. This is a very strong start to the new special enrollment period that allows anyone eligible for coverage to sign up without verification, a burdensome process that likely hindered some people who were previously eligible due to a loss of coverage in 2020, but failed to complete the verification process required before enrolling in coverage. While this data is not broken down by age, we know from last year’s open SEPs in the state-based marketplace states that young people disproportionately benefited from the SEPs.

After advocating throughout 2020 for an open SEP to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, we are thrilled to see the Biden-Harris administration create an SEP as one of its first actions, and even more thrilled to see evidence of its success today. The health coverage needs of young people have been left behind in the response to this pandemic, and it is about time that closing coverage gaps is prioritized in order to provide every American with the peace of mind and security that comprehensive health coverage provides.

We applaud the Biden-Harris administration for taking swift action in re-opening, investing $50 million in raising awareness about the SEP, and now investing $2.3 million in Navigator funding to support enrollment assistance. We expect enrollment data to continue to grow over the next two months before the May 15 deadline, and will continue to do our part to ensure all young people can take advantage of this opportunity to enroll in comprehensive, affordable health coverage. The global coronavirus pandemic has dealt a blow to health coverage in the United States, but the first batch of SEP enrollment data is an encouraging development on our road to recovery.”