March 11, 2016
Nationwide the Health Insurance Marketplaces signed up 4.9 million new people during the third Open Enrollment period
According to a final enrollment report released today, Health Insurance Marketplaces nationwide signed up 4.9 million new customers for 2016 coverage during the third Open Enrollment period. In total, 12.7 million people signed up or automatically renewed their plans for 2016 coverage.
Today’s report includes detailed, state-level demographic and plan selection characteristics for the Federally Facilitated and State-based Marketplaces. More than 9.6 million people (76 percent) signed up or were automatically enrolled in the 38 states that use the HealthCare.gov platform, and an additional 3.1 million (24 percent) were signed up in State-based Marketplaces. These figures do not include the additional about 400,000 people who signed up on the New York and Minnesota Marketplaces for coverage through the Basic Health Program. (Basic Health Programs are state-based programs supported by the Affordable Care Act that provide health insurance coverage to low-income individuals many of whom would otherwise be eligible for qualified health plans.)
“Almost 5 million Americans were new to the Health Insurance Marketplaces this year and about 20 million uninsured Americans have gained coverage because of the Affordable Care Act,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “This year’s customers are more engaged and better informed. New customers came in earlier because they wanted a full year’s coverage, and 70 percent of returning customers actively selected a plan."
As in past years, the vast majority of Marketplace consumers signed up for coverage with tax credits. More than 8 in 10 individuals (10.5 million) who selected or were automatically enrolled in a 2016 plan nationwide qualified for a tax credit. In HealthCare.gov states, the average tax credit is $290 per month, or 73 percent of the gross premium, and the average premium after tax credits is $106 per month. Nearly 7 in 10 consumers had the option of selecting a 2016 Marketplace plan with a premium of $75 or less per month after tax credits.
Consumers in HealthCare.gov states were highly active, engaged shoppers. About 7 in 10 returning consumers came back to HealthCare.gov and actively selected a plan for 2016. Last year, about half of returning consumers actively selected a plan. Of the more than 3.9 million people who actively enrolled in a 2016 plan, more than 60 percent switched to a different plan than they had in 2015.
Today’s report finds that consumers who switched plans saved money. Those who switched to a different plan in 2016, saved an average of $40 per month, or nearly $480 annually, for the same level of coverage, compared to what they would have paid for their 2015 plan. People who switched issuers as well as plans saved $45 per month, or nearly $540 annually for the same level of coverage.
New customers signed up earlier this year compared to previous years. About 60 percent of new enrollees in HealthCare.gov states (2.4 million) signed up for January 1 coverage compared to about 40 percent of new enrollees last year (1.9 million).
Finally, this year, 3.5 million people ages 18 to 34 are signed up for coverage nationwide. In HealthCare.gov states, 2.7 million young people ages 18 to 34 are signed up for 2016 coverage (28 percent of HealthCare.gov state plan selections). Among new enrollees, 33 percent (1.3 million) were ages 18 to 34. This is a higher percentage than last year, when 31 percent of new consumers (0.8 million) were ages 18 to 34 in HealthCare.gov states. The overall percentage of plan selections for those ages remains stable.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) also today released a report that finds 8.8 million individuals had paid their premiums and had an active policy, or “effectuated” their coverage at the end 2015, up from 6.3 million individuals in 2014, a nearly 40 percent increase, though about 3.5 percent below our projections.
Consumers may leave the Marketplace for any number of reasons, such as gaining coverage through Medicare, Medicaid, or a new job. The end of 2015 effectuated enrollment level may partially reflect consumers leaving the Marketplace for employer coverage during a year in which the economy created 2.7 million jobs. It also likely also reflects a significant increase in data matching issues. For 2016, CMS has made a number of improvements to help consumers avoid and address data matching issues, and give them the tools they need to understand their coverage. These improvements should help consumers who need and are eligible for coverage stay covered all year.
To read today’s final Marketplace Enrollment Report visit: https://aspe.hhs.gov/health-insurance-marketplaces-2016-open-enrollment-period-final-enrollment-report