January 21, 2014 – January 27, 2014

Top Successes

  • Three million enrolled in marketplace plans: In the first three weeks of January, more than 800,000 Americans enrolled in marketplace plans, and total enrollments since October 2013 have exceeded three million!
  • Medicaid and CHIP enrollment: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reports that 2.3 million Americans were determined eligible for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by state-based agencies in December. This brings the total Medicaid/CHIP determinations since October 2013 to more than six million. Note: This data has some important limitations: it is missing data from a few large states, includes renewals from some other states, does not include determinations from the federally facilitated marketplaces (FFMs), and does not separate individuals who are newly eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act from those who were previously eligible but not enrolled.
  • Mayors Month of Action: Many mayors are helping get their constituents connected to coverage and are sponsoring enrollment events, including this past week in cities from Jacksonville, Florida to Tucson, Arizona.

Consumer Experiences in the Field

  • Consumer issues: Enroll America’s field staff reports that the most common problems consumers encountered last week relate to application processes for legal permanent residents and low-income individuals. Specific problems include significant identity verification issues for non-citizen residents and naturalized citizens and poor processes for Medicaid plan selection. CMS’s weekly assister call addressed some of these challenges for legal permanent residents, and we are relaying the relevant workarounds to relevant stakeholders in the field.

Challenges

  • Latino enrollment: Surveys and enrollment statistics show that Latinos are less likely to know about and enroll in the marketplaces than other Americans. Due to these findings, there has been a renewed effort nationally, and in states like California, to increase outreach to Latinos.
  • Struggling state-based marketplaces: An independent review of MNSure (Minnesota’s marketplace) found significant problems in the technical enrollment systems and program management. Massachusetts’ website is still unable to make eligibility determinations. And Maryland’s assisters are encountering administrative barriers that are limiting the number of assisters who get trained and are diminishing some organizations’ capacity to support enrollment.
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