2021 Marketplace Special Enrollment Period Report

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) report that over 528,000 Americans signed up for health insurance from the start of the 2021 Marketplace Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for consumers in HealthCare.gov States through March 31st, including approximately 322,000 signups from March 1st to March 31st. 


February 15th – March 31st, 2021

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) report that over 528,000 Americans signed up for health insurance from the start of the 2021 Marketplace Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for consumers in HealthCare.gov States through March 31st, including approximately 322,000 signups from March 1st to March 31st.

The number of people signing up for health insurance from the start of the SEP opportunity on February 15th through March 31st represents a substantial increase from 2020 and 2019, when 209,000 and 171,000 consumers signed up for health insurance respectively.[1] In previous years, SEPs were available only for qualifying life events, whereas this year the Biden Administration opened a SEP to all Americans in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

Data suggest a more diverse set of American consumers are enrolling in health insurance coverage through the SEP. Of enrollees who identified a race from February 15th through March 31th, 17% identified as Black, compared to about 11% during the same period in both 2020 and 2019. In addition, lower income Americans represent a larger percentage of new plan selections so far during the SEP compared to prior years. Among consumers requesting financial assistance, 41% have a household income between 100% and 138% of the federal poverty level, compared to 38% in 2020 and 33% in 2019.

Definitions and details on the data are included in the glossary at the end of the report.

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