Extended Open Enrollment, Special Enrollment Periods Finalized for Some Insurance Exchanges, Increasing Access to Cancer Care

September 28, 2021

On September 17, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a rule that could increase access to cancer care through an extended open enrollment period and monthly special enrollment periods for federally facilitated health insurance exchanges and state-based exchanges on the federal platform.

The rule will extend the annual open enrollment period for coverage purchased on the Health Insurance Marketplace by 30 days. Beginning with the 2022 coverage year, open enrollment will run from November 1, 2021, to January 15, 2022.

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) thanks CMS for finalizing this rule as ASCO recommended in its comments on the 2022 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters proposed rule. Extending the open enrollment period provides consumers additional time to react to updated plan cost information and seek enrollment assistance, both of which may improve access to health insurance coverage.

ASCO also applauds CMS for finalizing the proposal to establish a new monthly special enrollment period (SEP), giving qualified individuals—those eligible for advance payments of the premium tax credit and whose household income does not exceed 150% of the federal poverty level—and their dependents more opportunities to enroll in coverage on the federally facilitated marketplace and state-based marketplaces on the federal platform.

ASCO is committed to eliminating barriers to cancer care access through policy reforms and ongoing advocacy. These newly finalized policies have the potential to ensure the most vulnerable people with cancer have continuous access to health insurance coverage and the treatment they require.

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