Health Care Sign Ups Surpass 2 Million During 2021 Special Enrollment Period Ahead of Aug. 15 Deadline

Content From: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services NewsroomPublished: July 19, 20214 min read


Cross-post from HHS Newsroom


[On July 14, 2021], the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released new enrollment reports showing more than two million people have signed up for health coverage during the Biden-Harris Administration’s 2021 Special Enrollment Period (SEP), which opened on February 15, 2021 as the country grappled with the pandemic, and will conclude on the extended deadline August 15, 2021. In addition, today’s reports show access to health care continues to expand with 81 million people receiving coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as of February 2021. The historic and rising enrollments demonstrate how the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and other vital health care programs deliver high-quality, affordable health care to millions of Americans, families, and children.

The June Marketplace SEP report shows that since February 15, 1.5 million Americans have signed up on with an additional 600,000 enrolling in coverage through the 15 State-based Marketplaces. The report also shows that of the new and returning consumers who have selected a plan since April 1, 1.2 million consumers (34%) have selected a plan that costs $10 or less per month after the American Rescue Plan’s (ARP) premium reductions. The ARP’s expanded premium tax credits have reduced premiums, increased savings, and given consumers access to quality, affordable health care coverage through the Marketplace, and President Biden has proposed to make these lower premiums permanent as laid out in his Build Back Better Agenda.

The February 2021 Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment Trends Snapshot also shows record high enrollment with more than 81 million people covered through Medicaid and CHIP. An additional 500,000 children and adults enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP from January to February 2021. Nearly 10.4 million individuals, a 14.7% increase, enrolled in coverage between February 2020, the month before the COVID-19 public health emergency was declared, to February 2021.

“Let’s be clear – the monthly Marketplace numbers show that across the country, there’s a demand for high-quality, low-cost health coverage. And month after month, we are reminded that the Biden-Harris Administration is fulfilling its promise to deliver access to quality, affordable health coverage by strengthening the Affordable Care Act and pushing its Build Back Better Agenda,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Whether through expanded Medicaid or the Health Insurance Marketplace, the ACA is working for millions of Americans – and we’re committed to building on this historic progress.”

"The American Rescue Plan has made health coverage more affordable and accessible than ever – and people are signing up. Health coverage provides the peace of mind that every American deserves," said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. "Through August 15, the American people have an opportunity to select a quality health care plan that works for them, with costs that are at an all-time low. CMS is dedicated to ensuring people in our communities have the coverage they need.”

Consumers who want to compare plan offerings, or learn if they qualify for more affordable premiums can check their coverage options by visiting or by August 15. Consumers can view 2021 plans and prices and submit an application to see if they are eligible for coverage and financial assistance. If eligible, they can enroll in a plan that best meets their needs. Current enrollees should review their application, make any changes needed to their current information, submit their application, and then select a new plan, or reselect their current plan, to receive the increased savings under the ARP.

Throughout the year, consumers can apply for Medicaid and CHIP coverage online in all 50 states and DC, and the majority of states complete real-time determinations and automated renewals. All but 13 states have accepted federal funding to expand Medicaid under the ACA.

Consumers can also call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596, which provides assistance in over 150 languages. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325. Consumers can also find a local assister or agent/broker in their area:

Consumers who live in a state with a Marketplace that operates its own platform should visit their state Marketplace website or call center for information on accessing these additional savings through their State-based Marketplace.

View the February 2021 Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment Trends Snapshot.

Read the June Marketplace SEP report.

Learn more about the Health Insurance Marketplace®.

Find more information about the American Rescue Plan and the Health Insurance Marketplace®.