More than two million gain health insurance during special enrollment period

The expanded enrollment opportunity will continue until Aug. 15.

More than two million Americans have signed up for health insurance coverage as part of the Biden administration’s 2021 special enrollment period.

According to a news release, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reports that since the special enrollment period started on Feb. 15, 1.5 million people have signed up for care through HealthCare.gov, while an additional 600,000 people enrolling through the 15 state-based marketplaces. The special enrollment period ends Aug. 15.

Of the new and returning customers who chose a plan by April 1, 1.2 million, or 34 percent, selected a plan that cost $10 or less per month after the American Rescue Plan’s (ARP) premium reduction. President Joe R. Biden has proposed making the lower premiums permanent, the release says.

Medicaid and CHIP are also seeing high enrollment with more than 81 million people covered through the programs as of February 2021, and an addition 500,000 children and adults enrolled between January and February of this year, according to the release.

“Let’s be clear – the monthly Marketplace numbers show that across the country, there’s a demand for high-quality, low-cost health coverage. And month after month, we are reminded that the Biden-Harris Administration is fulfilling its promise to deliver access to quality, affordable health coverage by strengthening the Affordable Care Act and pushing its Build Back Better Agenda,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra says in the release. “Whether through expanded Medicaid or the Health Insurance Marketplace, the ACA is working for millions of Americans – and we’re committed to building on this historic progress.”

The release notes that 10.4 million Americans, a 14.7 percent increase, enrolled in coverage between February 2020, just before the COVID-19 public health emergency began, and February 2021.

"The American Rescue Plan has made health coverage more affordable and accessible than ever – and people are signing up. Health coverage provides the peace of mind that every American deserves," CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure says in the release. "Through August 15, the American people have an opportunity to select a quality health care plan that works for them, with costs that are at an all-time low. CMS is dedicated to ensuring people in our communities have the coverage they need.”