Last year’s enrollment period saw a record number of people sign up — 15.7 million — and this year’s is expected to surpass that.
The more than 10 million people who have been disenrolled from Medicaid this year so far were granted a special enrollment period that already began in March and will go on until July of next year.
While this is likely to result in many more people turning to ACA plans, the fact that a large portion of those who have been disenrolled were still eligible may mean a more modest impact. And those who truly did lose eligibility may have lost it due to having other options.
“If they reapply for Medicaid, they might find that they’re still eligible for Medicaid,” said KFF Vice President Cynthia Cox, director of the program on the ACA.
“Additionally, some people losing Medicaid coverage — especially if they lost eligibility for that Medicaid coverage — it might be because, you know, they got Medicaid early in the pandemic when they got laid off and then they’ve since regained employment and got employer coverage.”
The 2024 enrollment period will also be the first time that HealthCare.gov will employ a new reenrollment policy that will move an enrollee up a tier from Bronze to Silver if they are eligible. While auto-reenrollment has always been ACA policy, customers in previous years were reenrolled into the same plan they were already enrolled in.
“They’ve just tinkered with the algorithm this year in an effort to try to make sure that as many people as possible are getting all the benefits they qualify for,” said Louise Norris, policy analyst for healthinsurance.org, adding that customers shouldn’t rely on the reenrollment mechanism.
“No matter what, it’s in your best interest to go in there and look at the plans that are available and pick your own instead of relying on an algorithm to pick a renewal plan for you,” she advised.