November 10 – November 16, 2015

Plan Selections Through HealthCare.gov Top a Half Million in Week One: On November 12, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published its first weekly “snapshot” of enrollment in the federally facilitated marketplace (FFM). In the first week of the third open enrollment period (OE3), more than 540,000 people picked health plans on the FFM. Last year, there were 462,000 plan selections in the first week of open enrollment. Around two-thirds of the OE3 plan selections were from consumers renewing their coverage, and one-third were new shoppers.

$32 Million in Funding Available for Medicaid and CHIP Outreach and Enrollment: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) announced a new round of outreach and enrollment funding for organizations working on connecting children to Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CMS expects to award a total of $32 million in 30 cooperative agreements, with funding lasting for two years (starting May 2016). Applications are due January 20, 2016. Prospective applicants can join upcoming informational calls to learn more about the funding opportunity.

New FFM Resources for Assisters:

  • Data matching guide: A new CMS fact sheet walks through how consumers can estimate and update their household income when applying for financial help, and how they can work to avoid data matching issues.
  • “Know your rights”: This document outlines consumers’ rights to easy-to-understand plan information and coverage that covers essential benefits.
  • Customizable reminder cards: Assisters can use this template to give newly enrolled consumers cards with information on how to make updates to their marketplace account.

Final Benchmark Plans Selected for 2017 Essential Health Benefits Packages: CMS has released a final list of the health plans in each state and the District of Columbia that will serve as models for the benefits all marketplace plans will cover in 2017. Coverage details for each of these essential health benefit benchmark plans are available online.

State Updates:

  • Montana: In the first week of the state’s Medicaid expansion, nearly 5,500 Montanans enrolled in Medicaid coverage. Seventy thousand consumers are estimated to be newly eligible through the program, and coverage will begin on January 1.
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