August 11 – August 24, 2015

Nearly 1 Million Signed Up for Coverage Through Special Enrollment Periods This Year on On August 13, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released an enrollment snapshot for Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs) from February 23 through June 30 for the 37 states that use the enrollment platform. The snapshot showed that more than 940,000 Americans selected health plans through SEPs this year, with a surge in sign-ups at the end of the tax season SEP, and with the most common qualifying life event being loss of coverage.

National Health Interview Survey Finds Uninsured Rate Below 10 Percent: On August 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the latest results from its National Health Interview Survey, finding that the national uninsured rate dropped by one-third from 2013 to 2015. The uninsured rate fell to 9.2 percent for the first three months of 2015, down from 14.4 percent in 2013. Gains in both public and private coverage are responsible for this decline; the percentage of non-elderly individuals covered by marketplace plans increased significantly in the last year, as did Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program enrollment, especially in states that expanded Medicaid.

Alaska’s Medicaid Expansion Begins Next Week: On September 1, Medicaid expansion will take effect in Alaska, and all Alaskans with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) can enroll in coverage. For eligible Alaskans, coverage takes effect retroactively to the first day of the month they apply.

State Updates:

  • District of Columbia: DC Health Link launched a new provider directory tool on August 19. The tool is available in English and Spanish and allows users to see which doctors accept which health plans.
  • Massachusetts: On August 13, the Massachusetts Health Connector awarded nearly $1.6 million in Navigator grants to 14 organizations for outreach and enrollment for the upcoming open enrollment period. Last year, the state awarded $1.5 million in Navigator grants.
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