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Weekly Checkup

Risk-Pool Dangers of Year-Round Open Enrollment 

Last month the Biden Administration finalized a rulemaking effectively establishing year-round open enrollment for anyone at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level who is eligible for fully subsidized individual market coverage through the federal or state-based health insurance exchanges. Under the rule, anyone signing up for coverage through the federally facilitated exchange who meets the qualifications will be able to sign up at any point during the plan year for coverage beginning the following month. In 2021, 15 states are operating their own state-based exchanges; under the rule those states will have discretion in whether or not to allow year-round enrollment.

ICYMI last month, in the video below I discuss the danger to the risk pool of allowing continuous open enrollment.

Chart Review: Looking at Risks vs. Rewards in E-Cigarettes

Jackson Hammond, Health Care Policy Analyst

This week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its first authorization of an electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) product, more commonly known as e-cigarettes. While manufacturers argue ENDS products help adults with smoking cessation, there are concerns about the use of these products by young adults and teenagers. The chart below compares two studies: The first study looked at the likelihood of ENDS products enabling smoking cessation in adults; the second study examined the likelihood of ENDS products leading to traditional cigarette use in teenagers. The first study, a meta-analysis, found that adults who used e-cigarettes daily were 1.5 times more likely to quit traditional cigarettes than those who did not use e-cigarettes. The second study, also a meta-analysis, found that teenagers who began nicotine use with e-cigarettes were 2.75 times more likely to transition to traditional cigarettes than those who did not use e-cigarettes. While many questions remain regarding the impact of e-cigarettes on both traditional cigarette uptake and cessation, it is clear more information is needed—and that this remains a hazy policy area with tough choices.


Tracking COVID-19 Cases and Vaccinations

Margaret Barnhorst, Health Care Policy Fellow

To track the progress in vaccinations, the Weekly Checkup will compile the most relevant statistics for the week, with the seven-day period ending on the Wednesday of each week.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Trends in COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in the US, and Trends in COVID-19 Vaccinations in the US

Note: The U.S. population is 332,841,971.