✦ More than two million people have signed up for health care coverage during the pandemic special enrollment period on HealthCare.gov, according to CMS. Signups have undoubtedly been boosted by the expanded premium subsidies that were included as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, the March pandemic recovery bill. According to CMS, “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.
✦ Latinos were more likely to embrace virtual mental health care than people in other U.S. racial or ethnic groups, according to a new analysis prepared by Anthem, Inc. Anthem reviewed claims data from Medicaid members in 14 states and found that, during the peak of the pandemic, 40% of Latino members used virtual mental health services, compared to 34% of white members, 33% of Asian members and 28% of Black members. The payer also said that virtual visits accounted for 49% of its reimbursed Medicaid mental health visits during the pandemic and it reimbursed a lower volume of mental health visits during the pandemic than it normally would have: “While telehealth did boost visits during COVID-19, it didn’t make up for the dramatic drop in in-person visits for all races and ethnic groups.”