Insurers pushed back at the Biden administration’s efforts to extend the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period by another month and require them to post standardized plan options.
Several insurers and advocacy groups commented on the proposals outlined in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters, which outlines ACA marketplace exchange regulations for the 2022 coverage year. Insurers worried that extending the open enrollment period could lead to adverse selection and raise premiums for consumers.
“Extending the open enrollment period could disincentivize consumers from enrolling in comprehensive coverage for a full 12 months and place consumers at risk for disruptions in care,” said America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the top health insurance lobbying group.
Over the past three open enrollment periods, the window for signups ran from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15. Now, CMS wants to extend that period for another month and end it on Jan. 15.
AHIP said that the change could cause gaps in coverage and confusion for consumers.
If a consumer enrolls after Jan. 1, for 2022 coverage, then their coverage won’t start until Feb. 1.
Alliance of Community Health Plans, which represents safety-net plans, offered a solution of pushing back the start date for open enrollment to Oct. 15 and the end date being Dec. 31, 2021. This will ensure that consumers won’t suffer any momentary gaps in care.
Another issue is that extending the open enrollment period could