The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that, beginning this year, consumers will have an extra 30 days to review and choose health plans through open enrollment, which will run from November 1, 2021 through January 15, 2022, on HealthCare.gov.
CMS is also expanding services provided by Federally-facilitated Marketplace Navigators who help consumers, review options, and enroll in marketplace coverage.
Additionally, CMS will re-launch its “Champions for Coverage” program. The program currently includes more than 1,000 local organizations that are active in providing outreach and education about the health insurance marketplace and how consumers can enroll in coverage through HealthCare.gov, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
CMS announced it will expand navigator services. Navigators in FFMs will now provide consumers with information and assistance on certain post-enrollment topics, such as the Marketplace-eligibility appeals process and Marketplace-related components of premium tax credit reconciliation. CMS will support more outreach and engagement through modest increases to Marketplace issuer user fee rates. All 2022 Marketplace user fee rates remain lower than those for 2021. Additionally, four times as many navigators — 1,500 in all — will be available for consumers who use HealthCare.gov for the 2022 plan year.
In addition to extending the open enrollment period and supporting the work of navigators, CMS established a new monthly special enrollment period targeting certain low-income individuals in marketplaces through HealthCare.gov. This opportunity provides the vast majority of eligible consumers with one or more options to enroll in free or very low-cost plans thanks to provisions in the American Rescue Plan.