U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) announced yesterday that nearly 3.3 million people picked health insurance plans on the health insurance exchanges through the end of January. The report has some good news for proponents of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including that 27 percent of the January enrollees are young adults, people between 18 and 34 years old – up 3 percentage points from the previous reporting period.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius held a conference call to go over the figures with White House reporters. "We’re seeing a healthy growth in enrollment."
Sebelius also said that these encouraging trends show that more Americans are enrolling every day, and finding quality, affordable coverage in the Marketplace. "There is still plenty of time for you and your family to sign up in a private plan of your choice, so visit HealthCare.gov to learn more and sign up. Open enrollment ends March 31." Sebelius added, "We’re seeing a growing population of Americans who are young, healthy, and well-covered."
During the month of January alone, 1.1 million made plan selections in state and federal marketplaces. In January 27 percent of those who selected plans in the Federally-facilitated Marketplace are between the ages of 18 and 34, a three-percentage point increase over the figure reported for the previous three-month period. Young adult enrollment grew by 65 percent in January, from 489,460 at the end of December to 807,515 as of Feb. 1, while all other age groups combined grew by 55 percent.
The report for the first time also includes information on the type of plans selected (Bronze, Silver, Gold, etc.) distributed across demographic factors such as gender and age. For example, it shows that 81 percent of young adults ages 18 to 34 selected plans at the Silver metal level or higher (Silver, Gold and Platinum plans).
Key findings from today’s report include:
- Nearly 3.3 million (3,299,500) people selected Marketplace plans from Oct. 1, 2013, through Feb. 1, 2014, including 1.4 million in the State Based Marketplaces and 1.9 million in the Federally-facilitated Marketplace.
Of the almost 3.3 million:
- 55 percent are female and 45 percent are male;
- 31 percent are age 34 and under;
- 25 percent are between the ages of 18 and 34;
- 62 percent selected a Silver plan, while 19 percent selected a Bronze plan; and
- 82 percent selected a plan and are eligible to receive Financial Assistance, up from 79 percent during the Oct. 1 through Dec 28, 2013 reporting period.
The goal of the ACA is to "insure" the "uninsured." A Gallup poll released on Wednesday shows substantial declines in the number of "uninsured" between the ages of 26 and 34, and this report bears this out.
HHS conference call about January enrollment
HHS announcement - January enrollment
POLITICO - HHS numbers
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