The renewals page on HealthCare.gov, which urges, "Check out 2021 health insurance plans & prices before you renew" and asks, "Did you get a 2021 re-enrollment letter?" (Credit: CMS)

HealthCare.gov is still recording more renewals than it was a year ago, but the rate of growth seems to be falling, according to new application activity data.

The number of households renewing coverage increased 5.5%, to 580,777. The number of households signing up for new coverage fell 4.8%, to 177,644.

The third week of the open enrollment period for 2021 individual and family major medical coverage ended Nov. 21.

Resources

  • A copy of the second CMS HealthCare.gov 2021 open enrollment period snapshot report is available here.
  • An individual major medical open enrollment period preview article is available here.

In the second week of the current open enrollment period, renewals were 13% higher than the comparable week for 2020 coverage, and new signups were 13% lower.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services set up HealthCare.gov to provide Affordable Care Act (ACA) public health insurance exchange services for residents of states that choose not to set up their own public health exchange programs, or online supermarkets for commercial health insurance.

ACA public exchange programs sell commercial health coverage, and HealthCare.gov officials have reported that HealthCare.gov gets about half of its applicants from insurance agents, brokers and web broker entities.

The open enrollment period for 2021 coverage, or time when people can sign up for coverage without showing they have what the government classifies as a good reason to be shopping for coverage, started Nov. 1 throughout the country and is set to end Dec. 15 in HealthCare.gov states.

One factor affecting HealthCare.gov numbers is decisions by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to set up their own, locally run ACA exchange programs.

New Jersey has not yet reported signup activity figures for its new exchange, Get Covered New Jersey. The board of the new Pennsylvania ACA exchange, Pennie, reported Nov. 18 that, as of Nov. 15, Pennie had recorded 263,398 automatic renewals, 13,258 active renewals, and 7,965 new signups.

HealthCare.gov managers typically report preliminary performance statistics based on “plan selection” numbers, or signups, rather than on plan sales numbers, because the exchange records a sale only when an individual “effectuates” coverage by making a premium payment.

— Read ACA Exchange System Keeps Growing in Its Core Stateson ThinkAdvisor.

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