CMS Extends Enrollment Period Access for Marketplace Coverage

July 09, 2021 by Alec Stone MA, MPA, Former ONS Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy

Those without healthcare coverage can now purchase annual policies through state exchanges until August 15, 2021, under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (’ (CMS’s) extended ( Special Enrollment Period (SEP), ensuring continued access to affordable coverage for Americans during a time of healthcare uncertainty.

“Every American deserves access to quality, affordable health care—especially as we fight back against the COVID-19 pandemic,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said ( “Through SEP, the Biden administration is giving the American people the chance they need to find an affordable healthcare plan that works for them.”

When the economic impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic produced record increases in unemployment, millions of Americans who needed health insurance took advantage of the Affordable Care Act (’s (ACA’s) opportunities. By extending SEP, consumers have additional time to take advantage of savings from the American Rescue Plan. As of June 2021 (, approximately 31 million Americans have healthcare coverage ( through ACA, and of those, 11.3 million consumers were enrolled in Marketplace ( plans.

Access additional information about financial assistance to reduce the cost of monthly premiums and 2021 plans and prices online ( Consumers can also call the Marketplace Call Center ( at 800-318-2596, and TeleTYpe users can call 855-889-4325.

ONS advocates for all individuals to have access to health insurance coverage. Greater access to health care ( means providing quality care ( and promoting health equity ( for all patients while overcoming barriers to insurance coverage.

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