ACAP Calls for Special Enrollment Period for Marketplace Plans

FOR MORE INFORMATION:Jeff Van Ness202-204-7515, 


WASHINGTON—In a recent letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) called for a Federal Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for all consumers in an effort to expand health coverage and to promote testing for COVID-19.  

“We’re already seeing stories of people who are afraid to come forward for testing or treatment because they do not have comprehensive health coverage,” said ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray. “And we’ve seen others where short-term ‘junk plans’ put up barrier after barrier to payment, leaving their customers liable for the bill. A Federal SEP will at least give people who hadn’t enrolled in ACA-compliant coverage for 2020 the opportunity to do so.” 

Several state-based marketplaces have already instituted special enrollment periods  

ACAP also pointed out that providing a SEP could open the door to meaningful changes to the risk pool or SEP abuse. CMS has previously acknowledged this issue by instituting an adjustment factor for partial-year enrollees in the risk adjustment formula and we would urge CMS to ensure that such an adjustment factor is weighted appropriately if a new SEP is instituted mid-year,” the letter adds.  

Accordingly, ACAP urges CMS to couple the prospective SEP with a federal backstop to assure that issuers do not face overwhelming, unanticipated costs associated with new, mid-year enrollment.  

The letter features several other recommendations which largely echo ACAP’s recommendations to leaders of Congress. It is available in full at 

About ACAP
ACAP represents 74 Safety Net Health Plans, which collectively serve more than 20 million people. ACAP-member Safety Net Health Plans and partners serve their communities through Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other public health programs. For more information, visit 

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