The Enrollment Story Behind the Numbers

Posted January 13, 2014
By Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary, Health and Human Services

Today, we released an update on the enrollment numbers for the new Health Insurance Marketplace through December 28.

More than 6 million Americans have now either signed up for a private health insurance plan through the Marketplace or for Medicaid coverage.  Enrollment in the federal Marketplace in December was seven times greater than the cumulative October-November reported federal enrollment number.

The report includes, for the first time, demographic information on enrollees.  Through December, 30 percent of those who enrolled were under age 35, with 24 percent being between the ages of 18 and 34 – consistent with the proportion of the population in this age group and in keeping with where Massachusetts enrollment was at this point.  More importantly, it is a sign of a clear demand for health insurance.

Young People Slacked in Signing Up for Massachusetts Health Care: Bar graph outlines proportion of premium-paying enrollees in Commonwealth Care who were ages 19 to 34, as of each month, during the first year of the Massachusetts reform scheme (2007). February: 15.2 percent. March: 22.6 percent. April: 22.6 percent. May: 27.0 percent. June: 24.1 percent. July: 24.5 percent. August: 26.8 percent. September: 29.7 percent. October: 32.2 percent. November: 34.3 percent. December: 31.7 percent.

           Source: The New Republic Site Exit Dislaimer

But the real story today is of those who are enjoying the peace of mind of health coverage—many for the first time.

Albert, a part-time healthcare worker I had the pleasure to meet in Dallas, Texas, hasn’t had health insurance his entire life. He said he had been cocky about his health, but came to realize he never knew what could happen, and enrolled in health coverage for just $23 a month after financial assistance.

Noelle, a 23 year old working at an Indoor Soccer Complex in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, hasn’t had health insurance for the last 5 years. Because of a condition called esophagitis and a lack of insurance to combat the condition, she struggled to keep food down—a big road block to pursuing her passion—soccer. Now, she’s enrolled and has the peace of mind that comes with coverage.

Korby, a musician from Nashville, Tennessee, also has health insurance for the first time thanks to the ACA, and will be paying just $17 a month after financial assistance. He received his health insurance card in the mail, and says having coverage means he can keep searching for that next song worry-free, even if something happens to him along the way.

Today’s enrollment numbers and the stories I’ve shared show a strong response to the Marketplace. But our work is not done.  Millions more people are eligible for affordable health coverage and open enrollment runs through March 31. 

There are many, simple ways to get covered, including online at HealthCare.gov (which is working smoothly), over the phone, in-person, on paper, and directly through an agent, broker, or issuer.

It’s a new day for health care – and for the millions of Americans who finally health coverage.

If you’ve enrolled in coverage, share your story with us by clicking here.