Bolstering coverage availability with consumer education

Starting next week, millions of uninsured Americans will have the opportunity to sign up for coverage on the federal insurance marketplace, the result of President Biden’s executive order to create a 90-day special enrollment period. The graphic above highlights the potential impact of this enrollment period on the uninsured population.

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysisof the nearly 15M uninsured who are marketplace-eligible, nearly 9M qualify for free or subsidized coverage. Enrollment of these individuals will come with added challenges, as they tend to be less educated, younger, more rural, and less likely to speak English, as compared to the general population. An Urban Institute survey found almost half of uninsured individuals are unfamiliar with marketplace coverage options, and nearly two-thirds lack an understanding of available financial assistance

The federal government is dedicating $50M to advertise the special enrollment period, to assist with outreach and education. Given the population most likely to have lost insurance due to the COVID pandemic, this funding will be critical to making sure eligible people take advantage or free or low-cost coverage.

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