State “Easy Enrollment” Programs Gain Momentum, Lay Groundwork for Additional Efforts to Expand Coverage

By Rachel Schwab, Justin Giovannelli, Kevin Lucia and Sabrina Corlette

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) made health insurance more affordable for more Americans. Since mid-February, when the Biden administration and state-based marketplaces established a new enrollment opportunity, more than 2 million people have signed up for marketplace coverage. But covering the 30 million remaining uninsured — including some of the most difficult to reach and underserved Americans — will require innovative efforts to broadcast the availability of subsidized insurance and facilitate enrollment. To that end, several states, following an inaugural effort in Maryland, have proposed or are implementing “Easy Enrollment” programs, creating a new avenue to enrollment through the tax-filing process.

In a new post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR experts take a look at states that are operating or implementing Easy Enrollment programs, including results from Maryland’s first year. The post also discusses how Easy Enrollment could offer a bridge to more ambitious initiatives, such as automatic enrollment in health insurance at the state level. The authors find that, while not a silver bullet, Easy Enrollment programs and other similar state efforts can help to pinpoint the uninsured and pave a smoother path to coverage, providing an important tool for reducing coverage disparities. You can read the full blog post here.

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The opinions expressed here are solely those of the individual blog post authors and do not represent the views of Georgetown University, the Center on Health Insurance Reforms, any organization that the author is affiliated with, or the opinions of any other author who publishes on this blog.