Nearly 1 Million Gain ACA Coverage During Special Enrollment Period

Close to 1 million new consumers selected a plan through HealthCare.gov because they qualified for a special enrollment period, according to a report from CMS.

Close to 1 million new consumers selected a plan through HealthCare.gov because they qualified for a special enrollment period (SEP), according to a report from CMS. Consumers qualify for a SEP if they lose their health coverage, lose Medicaid eligibility, have a change in family status (such as marriage or the birth of a child), or other exceptional circumstances.

The CMS snapshot includes SEP coverage information from February 23 to June 30 for the 37 states with federally facilitated marketplaces, state partnership marketplaces, and supported state-based marketplaces.

“Life changes are often impossible to predict, but access to affordable and quality healthcare coverage should never be,” Kevin Counihan, chief executive officer of the Health Insurance Marketplace, said in a statement. "So far this year, nearly 950,000 people have gained the peace of mind that comes with access to coverage by taking advantage of a special enrollment period, providing us with further evidence that the Health Insurance Marketplace is working for America’s families. We want people to know that if they lose a job, get married, have a baby, or experience other life changes, we’re here to help them find coverage they can afford.”

Half of SEP plan selections were for the loss of health coverage and 19% because consumers had become ineligible for Medicaid. In addition, prior to the beginning of the tax season SEP, plan selections average more than 5000 a day and daily SEP activity increased gradually during tax season. Overall, 15% of SEP plan selections were due to the tax season SEP.

160,828 during the time period of February 23 to June 30.

Florida had the most SEP plan selections with a total of

"SEPs are helping consumers avoid gaps in health insurance coverage by providing a valuable link to affordable health insurance options," the CMS report concluded.