Open Enrollment 2021 Primer: What to Expect and How to Navigate in the Wake of COVID-19

7 Aug 2020
by Manu Aggarwal, Ankur Verma

The US Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is that time of the year when potential members select or modify their health plans, and healthcare payers formulate strategies to invest in new areas to increase their market share. For payers, these investments depend on the changes that the US Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) proposes for the next enrollment year, as these changes impact payers in multiple ways. For instance, one of the CMS-proposed changes for OEP 2021, which allows Medicare beneficiaries with End-stage Renal Disease (ESRD) to enroll in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, can reduce MA plan profits by about 2%. In fact, these changes not only impact healthcare payers operationally and financially, but also affect their strategic sourcing decisions.

In this viewpoint, we take a look at CMS’ key changes proposed for the 2021 OEP and the likely impact of those changes on the healthcare payer landscape. Further, we study in detail the sourcing implications associated with these regulatory changes.


Industry: Healthcare payer

Geography: United States


In this paper, we:

  • Highlight the changes proposed/suggested by the CMS for OEP 2021
  • Analyze the impact of the proposed/suggested changes and of COVID-19 on healthcare payers
  • Suggest ways for payers to mitigate the impact of the CMS proposed/suggested changes and COVID-19-induced challenges
  • Highlight emerging themes in payers’ sourcing practices for the benefit of outsourcing service providers


Healthcare & Life Sciences Business Process Outsourcing


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