With the annual open enrollment period for Affordable Care Act marketplace plans about to close, HHS reports that more than 14.2 million people have signed up for plans since the OEP started on Nov. 1, 2021. That figure includes 10 million people selecting or being automatically enrolled in plans on HealthCare.gov through Jan. 12 and 4.2 million on the state-based marketplaces as of Jan. 8. The federal OEP for 2022 plans ends Jan. 15 — making it a month longer than signup periods during the Trump administration. HHS also released a report that detailed how the expansion of premium subsidies under the American Rescue Plan Act has led more customers to choose plans with lower deductibles.
For health insurers that operate in the Affordable Care Act exchanges, 2022 is shaping up to be a relatively stable, profitable year with few regulatory surprises, health policy experts tell AIS Health. Still, there will be some regulatory uncertainty that plans must grapple with as well as a newly proposed rule effective in 2023 that imposes tighter controls on benefits and network design than even the Obama administration attempted.
That regulation is the Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (NBPP) 2023 Proposed Rule, released by the Biden administration on Dec. 28. Perhaps the biggest change included in the annual omnibus exchange rule — the move to require standardized ACA marketplace plans — was already known to the industry but still promises to make a significant impact.
Centene Corp. completed its $2.2 billion acquisition of Magellan Health, Inc. The previously announced deal will allow Centene to expand its behavioral health platform, increase its specialty health and pharmacy capabilities, and enhance its ability to address members’ whole health. Magellan Health will operate independently under Centene’s Health Care Enterprises umbrella, with CEO Ken Fasola and other members of Magellan Health’s leadership team continuing to lead the organization, Centene said on Jan. 4.
Sign-ups for health plans on the individual exchanges have hit a record high six weeks into open enrollment, according to CMS: 13.6 million people have enrolled in coverage for 2022, with a month still left to go in the annual open enrollment period. That includes 9.7 million who have enrolled in HealthCare.gov plans, which is the federal platform used by 33 states, and 3.9 million who have enrolled via the 18 state-based marketplaces.
Centene Corp. Chairman and CEO Michael Neidorff plans to retire in 2022 from his role as chief executive, although he will serve as executive chairman of the insurer’s board of directors until the end of next year. Centene’s board “will be responsible for appointing a new CEO following a thorough selection process, including evaluating internal and external candidates with the support of an external search firm,” the company said on Dec. 14. In September, Centene promoted Sarah London to the role of vice chairman for its board of directors, and some industry analysts speculated that could put her in a position to succeed Neidorff, who has been Centene’s CEO since 1996.