The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is also known as “Obamacare”, or the federal health insurance “marketplace” or “exchange”.
The ACA’s annual enrollment period is officially here! The marketplace will remain open until December 15, so be sure to enroll your clients by then! Here are some updates to get you ready for the ACA’s 2021 enrollment period.
ACA Offering Lower Rates and Expanded Carrier Options for 2021 Open Enrollment
In October, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a report that showed a continued trend of shrinking premiums for the upcoming year. Average premiums for the benchmark plan, which is the second-lowest-cost silver plan, dropped 2 percent prior to the current Open Enrollment Period.
Part of this trend may be caused by the increase in competition within the 2021 ACA market. Compared to this time last year, 22 more issuers plan to participate, which tops the charts at 181 total insurers on the Marketplace. This decrease in cost, coupled with a drastic increase in participating carriers, will allow consumers to be more selective in finding the right plan at the right cost.
ACA Stability Factors
Since the ACA was signed in 2010, many have questioned the stability of the market; however, the ACA marketplace has continuously stabilized in the past years. As insurers have had time to learn how to best operate under the ACA, the marketplace has become stronger than ever before.
The Supreme Court began hearing Texas v. California on November 10, which calls into question the constitutionality of the law without the presence of the individual mandate. Though a decision will not likely be made until spring 2021, hearings held so far indicate that the law will likely remain in place.
More Clients Need ACA Assistance for 2021
Due to the magnitude of the 2020 coronavirus crisis, more Americans need help finding ACA coverage than ever before. According to Kaiser Health News, “at least 10 million workers lost their insurance but that about two-thirds of them found alternative coverage — through a new job, Medicaid, a spouse’s or parent’s plan, or the ACA marketplaces. That leaves at least 3 million people without coverage, the most added in a single year since accurate record-keeping began in 1968.”
With so many Americans looking for individual coverage, the 2021 Open Enrollment Period offers a great opportunity for agents to help more people find plans that fit their budgets and lifestyles.
As we head into a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare and the associated costs are top concerns for Americans looking forward to 2021. It is important to have health insurance as prolonged feelings of anxiety and stress can affect overall physical and mental health, so be sure to enroll your clients in plans that fit their needs during the ACA’s 2021 enrollment period.
Empower Brokerage is dedicated to helping you educate your clients on the insurance they need and staying on top of their health. Whether it’s through webinar training, one-on-one calls, seminars, or marketing plans. We want you to be successful. Give us a call if you have any questions at 888-539-1633.
Originally from the snow-capped Rockies, Macee moved to Texas in 2016 to pursue an undergraduate degree in Strategic Communication. She currently serves as a writer and editor for Empower Brokerage, as well as the marketing manager for Preferred Senior Advisors. Macee is also working on her Master’s degree in management, and hopes to inspire others with her passion for telling stories through varied digital and print marketing efforts.