Government Extends Health Insurance Sign-Up by 30 Days

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Patient smiling at his doctor
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The open enrollment period for Affordable Care Act health insurance plans will increase by 30 days this year, lasting from Nov. 1 to Jan. 15, 2022.

The new open enrollment period dates will apply to all plans purchased on the federal marketplace, and will apply in future years, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

In recent years, open enrollment has ended in mid-December.

CMS says the deadline was extended to “allow consumers more time to review plan choices, seek in-person assistance, and enroll in a plan that best meets their needs.”

State-run marketplaces must set end dates that fall on or after Dec. 15, but these exchanges are not required to extend open enrollment to match the new federal end date of Jan. 15, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The Journal reports that other key changes have been made to Affordable Care Act enrollment, such as:

  • CMS now will allow health insurance marketplaces to offer a monthly special enrollment for some low-income people eligible for cost-lowering subsidies.
  • CMS will increase funding to support navigators. These are both individuals and organizations that help people enroll in health insurance coverage via the marketplace. A total of 1,500 navigators will be available during the upcoming open enrollment period, which is a four-fold increase from the prior open enrollment period.

With open enrollment right around the corner, now is the time to think about how to tame your health care expenses in 2022. For more tips, check out “7 Ways Anyone Can Cut Their Health Care Costs.”

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