April 1, 2014 – April 7, 2014

Uninsured Rates Decline Nationally: Several recent surveys have found that the number and rate of uninsured Americans are decreasing.

  • Urban Institute’s Health Reform Monitoring Survey: The Urban Institute found that, over the past year, 5.4 million Americans gained insurance, and the national uninsured rate had fallen to 15.2 percent as of the first quarter of the year. The survey also found that states that expanded Medicaid showed a much greater decline in uninsured rates over the past six months than non-expansion states.
  • RAND Corporation Study: The RAND study found that, in March, the uninsured rate among non-elderly adults had declined to 16.6 percent nationally. It estimated that, overall, 9.5 million uninsured Americans gained health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Gallup Survey: Gallup’s most recent poll shows a drop in the uninsured rate to 15.6 percent nationally, which is the lowest they have found since 2008. Furthermore, the demographic groups that benefit from the new health insurance options (i.e. non-elderly adults and lower-income Americans) are the ones who are reporting the greatest gains in insurance, which would be expected if the new health coverage options are driving the increase in coverage.

February Medicaid Enrollment Numbers Released: On Friday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its monthly enrollment update on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Between October 1, 2013 and the end of February, 2014, Medicaid/CHIP enrollment increased by three million. Enrollment in states that expanded Medicaid increased five-fold compared to states that did not expand.

Medicaid Expansion Update

  • Michigan: On April 1, Michigan’s Medicaid expansion (to adults with income up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level) took effect. Interested consumers should apply directly through the state. If consumers applied for Medicaid through the state since October 1, 2013, their application will be automatically reprocessed; however, if consumers previously applied through the marketplace and have not received a response, they should re-apply directly to the state.

“In Line” Special Enrollment Period (SEP) Deadlines

  • Federally facilitated marketplaces (FFMs): Consumers in FFMs who tried to enroll before April 1 have until April 15 to complete their enrollment and select a plan. One exception is for consumers who applied via paper application; those consumers’ applications had to be received by the processing center by April 7, and they have until April 30 to select a plan through the call center.
  • State-based marketplaces (SBMs): SBMs are also helping consumers who had difficulty applying prior to April 1 finish enrolling now, although some states are describing the process differently and have state-specific rules about who qualifies, the application method, and deadline.
    • FFM model: The District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and New York are following the FFM model, where consumers attest to having previously attempted to enroll but have until April 15 to apply and select a plan. Maryland, Nevada, and Kentucky are using this model as well, but with different deadlines (Maryland’s is April 18, Nevada’s is May 30, and Kentucky is allowing consumers to complete applications between April 4 and 11, with plan selection continuing until April 15).
    • Finish in-process application or use call center: Colorado and California are allowing consumers who had accounts as of March 31 to finish the application online and consumers who do not have an account to enroll with the SBM’s call center or an assister.
    • Call center only: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington are asking consumers to call the SBM’s call center if they have had trouble completing enrollment.
    • Miscellaneous: Minnesota is allowing consumers who have started the application process or filled out the “enrollment attempt form” to finish their enrollment. Oregon is giving all residents an extension until April 30 whether they tried to enroll previously or not.
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