A screenshot from the HealthCare.gov homepage. It shows a young man looking at a warning that open enrollment ends Dec. 15. (Credit: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

HealthCare.gov signup activity was much lower during the week ending Nov. 28 than in the comparable week in the open enrollment period for 2020 health coverage, according to new data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

This year, the fourth week of the open enrollment period included Thanksgiving. Last year, Thanksgiving occurred during the fifth week of the open enrollment period.

Resources

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

HealthCare.gov is a government-run, web-based supermarket for health insurance. Consumers can use the site to shop for commercial coverage and apply for Affordable Care Act premium tax credit subsidies.

The open enrollment period is the time when people can sign up for coverage without showing that they have what the government defines as a good reason to be shopping for coverage.

CMS is the agency that runs HealthCare.gov.

It reports on “plan selection” activity, or signups, rather than “sales,” because CMS counts a sale only when a consumer sends in the first premium payment for the coverage. A HealthCare.gov user who signs up for coverage has several weeks to effectuate the coverage by making a premium payment.

Here’s what happened to key HealthCare.gov signup activity indicators between the fourth week of the open enrollment period in 2019 and the fourth week of the current open enrollment period:

  • New Signups: 138,183 (down 27%)
  • Renewals: 384,837 (down 25%)
  • Total Signups: 523,020 (down 26%)

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

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