Marketplace

The Marketplace Open Enrollment Period on HealthCare.gov runs from November 1, 2021 to January 15, 2022. Consumers who enroll by midnight December 15 can get full year coverage that starts January 1.

This year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is focusing on increasing access to assistance for Marketplace consumers, ensuring robust outreach and education efforts to reach consumers about the opportunity to enroll or re-enroll in Marketplace coverage. CMS has also committed to raising awareness around low-cost plans for 2022, as a result of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP). Increased and enhanced enrollment assistance is available through Navigator organizations that help consumers find the right health care coverage, complete their applications and enroll in coverage. Sixty Navigator awardee organizations are available to provide comprehensive assistance through customized educational and outreach activities, especially to underserved communities. Eighty million dollars in grant awards for the 2022 plan year, and another almost $11.5 million in additional funding, will go towards supporting Navigator efforts during the final month of Open Enrollment.

Improving Access to Coverage through Enhanced Outreach and Education

On October 15, CMS launched a campaign to raise awareness and encourage people to "Mark their Calendars" about Open Enrollment beginning on November 1, 2021. The campaign for this Open Enrollment reflects the largest marketing investment for Open Enrollment since the launch of HealthCare.gov. Particularly amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden-Harris Administration believes it is critical to put affordable health care in reach for everyone possible.

CMS's Outreach Campaign

CMS's extensive outreach effort includes a broad-reaching national campaign with traditional broadcast advertising and targeted digital efforts. Open Enrollment outreach will include historic investments to reach multiple audiences that experience lower access to health care. CMS has partnered with cultural marketing experts, for example, to deliver strong campaigns to African Americans, Spanish and English-speaking Latinos, and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in multiple languages. These campaigns will connect people to local help and resources.

A Streamlined Sign-Up Process

CMS has taken several steps to make it easier for consumers to sign up for quality, affordable health care coverage and reduce health disparities in communities across the country. Starting in 2022, required Navigator services will be expanded to help reduce health disparities by providing consumers with information and assistance on certain post-enrollment topics, such as the Marketplace appeals process and the premium tax credit reconciliation as a part of consumers' annual federal tax filing. Additionally, four times as many Navigators- more than 1,500 in all-will be available to assist consumers with applying for and enrolling in Marketplace coverage for the 2022 plan year.

CMS will boost its outreach additionally with the help of the Champions for Coverageprogram, a community initiative that includes more than 1,000 local organizations that are active in providing outreach and education about the Marketplace and how consumers can enroll in coverage through HealthCare.gov, Medicaid, or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Continued Access to Lower Costs

The ARP expanded the availability of financial assistance for coverage through the Marketplace, making financial assistance available to more consumers and at greater levels. These benefits continue from 2021 into 2022, and are available to eligible new consumers and to consumers returning to the Marketplace to shop for 2022. In part as a result of the ARP, four in five consumers will be able to find health care coverage for $10 or less per month.

Key Updates and Enhancements to HealthCare.gov

As Open Enrollment nears, CMS has continued its commitment to improve the customer experience on HealthCare.gov and CuidadoDeSalud.gov. CMS has continued refreshing site design, and more importantly, the assistance the site provides to guide consumers as they apply and enroll. The application includes new guiding information to help consumers understand what they'll need to complete their application and improved features to help consumers understand the applications steps and where they are within their application. The enrollment experience features new hints to help consumers tailor their shopping and assist them in comparing plans. These hints help consumers with access to multiple zero-dollar premium plans in their area compare plans based on other cost factors (i.e. deductibles), and help consumers eligible for lower out-of-pocket costs on Silver plans find and compare those plans and see available increased benefits. The site now also includes educational information on key types of plan costs consumers may want to consider beyond the monthly premium when choosing a plan, such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximums. CMS will continue to improve and enhance the application, enrollment, and educational support based on consumer feedback and testing.

Consumer Tools and Support

Consumers can preview and compare affordable, quality 2022 plans ahead of Marketplace Open Enrollment Period

CMS launched window shopping for 2022 (the "See plans & prices" page on HealthCare.gov) to allow consumers to preview plans and prices before Open Enrollment begins. As in previous years, previewing plans lets consumers browse plans without logging in, creating an account, or filling out the official application. Starting November 1, consumers can log in to HealthCare.gov and CuidadoDeSalud.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 to fill out an application and enroll in a 2022 Marketplace plan.

Marketplace Call Center

The Marketplace Call Center is often the front line of assistance for consumers as they apply for coverage and compare plan options. For the last several consecutive Open Enrollment Periods, the consumer satisfaction rate remained high - averaging 90 percent - throughout the entire Open Enrollment Period. In order to help prepare the Marketplace Call Center representatives to handle high consumer demand, CMS will continue providing extensive training to Marketplace Call Center staff prior to Open Enrollment and weekly refreshers throughout the Open Enrollment Period.

In addition to the Marketplace Call Center, local assistance will continue to be available to help consumers with enrollment through local assisters, and Marketplace-registered agents and brokers.

Local Assistance Resources

As noted above, this year, consumers will benefit from a more robust Navigator presence. Navigators are unbiased experts who help consumers, especially those in underserved communities, understand their benefits and rights, review options, and enroll in Marketplace coverage. In addition to an increased staffing capacity, Navigators will be offering more non-traditional appointment hours, bringing in-person assistance to consumers through the use of mobile units, and offering virtual appointments aimed at reducing transportation barriers.

This expanded Navigator program is augmented by additional assisters and agents and brokers. Over 4,550 assisters (including Navigators, certified application counselors and other assisters) and 44,000 agents and brokers are already trained to assist consumers. Additional assisters and agents and brokers will complete training prior to November 1.

CMS will continue to partner with the "Help On Demand" service for agents and brokers. This service allows consumers to request that a Marketplace-registered, state-licensed agent or broker in their area contact them directly for help applying and enrolling. Registered agents and brokers are able to set times when they're available and then reach out to consumers who expressed interest in assistance.

To find someone local or to be contacted by a Marketplace-registered agent or broker, consumers should visit https://www.healthcare.gov/find-assistance/. Consumers are able to choose if they'd like to browse and select an assister or an agent/broker in their area or can request an agent/broker to contact them directly to help with their application and enrollment. Consumers that choose to search through available assisters, agents and brokers in Find Local Help are able to look for a specific person or organization and can filter results based on their preferences and services provided, including language capabilities.

Open Enrollment Notices

Each year, the Marketplace sends notices to consumers who are currently enrolled in a Marketplace plan prior to November 1 about the upcoming Open Enrollment Period. This notice provides consumers with key dates for Open Enrollment and emphasizes the importance of consumers returning during this time to update their application and actively re-enroll in a plan for 2022. The notice also provides certain consumers with customized messaging for specific situations, such as if they're at risk of losing premium tax credits. Consumers receive additional notices from their current insurance company with important information about premiums, coverage and benefit changes, and plan availability for 2022.

To see examples of Open Enrollment notices, visit: https://marketplace.cms.gov/applications-and-forms/notices.html

Automatic Re-enrollment Process

Consumers who are currently enrolled are strongly encouraged to come back and update their information, compare, and pick a plan that best suits their needs before the December 15 deadline for coverage effective January 1. However, current consumers who do not actively select a 2022 plan by December 15 will be automatically enrolled into coverage for 2022. After December 15, the Marketplace sends a notice to consumers who were automatically re-enrolled; consumers who prefer to actively select a new plan can return to the Marketplace to do so before the January 15 close of Open Enrollment, at which point their January coverage will be through the auto re-enrolled plan, and their active selection will be effective February 1.

HealthCare.gov Operations

HealthCare.gov Scheduled Maintenance Windows

Every year, CMS establishes scheduled maintenance windows for HealthCare.gov. Like other IT systems, these scheduled maintenance windows are how we update and improve our systems to run optimally and are the normal course of business. Consumer access to HealthCare.gov may be limited or restricted when this maintenance is required. Maintenance will only occur within these windows when deemed necessary to provide consumers with a better shopping experience. The purpose in scheduling these times is to minimize any consumer disruption.

Regularly scheduled maintenance will continue to be planned for the lowest-traffic time periods on HealthCare.gov, which are Sunday mornings.

For more information on the scheduled maintenance times, visit: https://marketplace.cms.gov/technical-assistance-resources/healthcaregov-maintenance-windows.pdf

State-based Marketplaces

Consumers in states operating their own Marketplace platform can also enroll in a 2022 Marketplace plan starting on November 1. Consumers in these states can find information about available plans and prices, how to obtain in-person or virtual help or attend a local event, and state-specific enrollment deadlines by visiting or calling their state's Marketplace. For 2022, Kentucky, Maine, and New Mexico will be shifting to their own State-based Marketplace platforms. As such, consumers in these states will enroll in 2022 coverage through their states and not HealthCare.gov. CMS and the states are communicating with these consumers to ensure that they are aware of the change.

An additional State-based Marketplace fact sheetincludes details for each State-based Marketplace and consumers can visit https://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace-in-your-state/to find their State's website.

Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)

Similar to previous years, small business employers will be able to enroll directly with an issuer, or with a SHOP-registered agent or broker. HealthCare.gov allows employers to preview available SHOP plans and find an issuer or agent/broker to work with to offer SHOP coverage to their employees. Quality rating information will also be available for SHOP plans.

Additional Resources

Weekly Enrollment Snapshots

Similar to previous years, CMS plans to release weekly enrollment snapshots for HealthCare.gov throughout the Open Enrollment Period.

To view the Plan Year 2022 Qualified Health Plan Choice and Premiums in HealthCare.gov States landscape report, visit: https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Data-Resources/Downloads/2022QHPPremiumsChoiceReport.pdf

To see the 2022 Health Insurance Marketplace Public Use Files, visit: https://www.cms.gov/cciio/resources/data-resources/marketplace-puf

To see the Plan Year 2022 Quality Rating System Public Use Files, visit: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/QualityInitiativesGenInfo/ACA-MQI/ACA-MQI-Landing-Page

To see the State-based Marketplace Open Enrollment Information, visit: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/state-exchange-open-enrollment-chart.pdf

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This communication was printed, published, or produced and disseminated at U.S. taxpayer expense

Source : https://www.publicnow.com/view/5D441FC2C783222CC16F3E600CC16C2200552D6E

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