4 quick notes about ACA's 2019 open enrollment period

The 2019 enrollment period for the federal health insurance exchange begins Nov. 1 for coverage starting on Jan. 1, 2019.

Here are four things to know about this year's enrollment period:

1. The enrollment period will run from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15 in most states. Similar to last year, the enrollment period will be shorter than in previous years when it lasted through January.

2. CMS extended its Quality Rating System Star Ratings Pilot, which is in its third year, to three additional states. The program tests consumers' reactions to publicly displayed health plan "star ratings" on HealthCare.gov. The additional states include Michigan, Montana and New Hampshire.

3. CMS will again spend $10 million on outreach and marketing for the upcoming open enrollment period, as it did last year. In 2018, CMS slashed its marketing funds for enrollment by 90 percent compared to previous years.

4. The Trump administration also planned 60 hours of downtime maintenance for the federal health insurance exchange — HealthCare.gov — during the 2019 open-enrollment period. Last year, federal officials scheduled 60 hours of downtime during open enrollment, but actual downtime was only 21.5 hours. The maintenance schedule this year is the same as last year, meaning HealthCare.gov is scheduled to be offline for maintenance from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m. each Sunday during the sign-up period, except for the final Sunday.

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