Drake: Next year, extend open enrollment of the ACA Marketplaces into January


HEALTH AFFAIRS - HPM's Coleman Drake and Duke University colleague David Anderson say that by offering an extended open enrollment period, the Biden administration can remove a major administrative burden that often stands in the way of families obtaining health insurance. 

When the 2021 open enrollment period for the federally facilitated health insurance Marketplace,, ended on December 15, 2020, more than 8.25 million individuals had enrolled. After including the state-based Marketplaces, overall Marketplace enrollment increased for the first time since 2016. This increase occurred despite decreased affordability for the large majority of enrollees, minimal advertising, and little navigation support, which would have helped more people who could have benefitted from enrolling but did not. What is more, a complex enrollment process, described below, has meant that among even those who do attempt to sign-up on time, many may still ultimately miss out on securing coverage. Fortunately, there’s a straightforward fix to begin addressing this problem next year.

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