More Than 7.1M Enrolled in Federal Exchange, HHS Data Show
On Wednesday, the Obama administration announced that as of Jan. 16, more than 7.1 million U.S. residents have enrolled in health coverage through the federal exchange since the beginning of the second open enrollment period, Reuters reports (Morgan, Reuters, 1/21).
The figure includes individuals who selected health plans and those who automatically were re-enrolled in their current or similar plans (Adams, CQ Roll Call, 1/21). The figure does not include the number of individuals who enrolled in coverage through the 14 states and Washington, D.C., that are running their own exchanges (Reuters, 1/21).
According to administration figures, more than 400,000 of those enrollments occurred from Jan. 10 to Jan. 16. In comparison, about 100,000 individuals have been enrolling weekly for the past few weeks. According to Modern Healthcare, the recent surge could be linked to the Jan. 15 deadline for people to enroll in coverage beginning Feb. 1.
In addition, the administration said that nearly 700,000 people submitted coverage applications through HealthCare.gov last week (Dickson, Modern Healthcare, 1/21). Meanwhile, more than 1.3 million individuals called federal enrollment call centers last week, with an average wait time of more than 11 minutes. According to HHS officials, 128,189 of those callers spoke Spanish. However, HHS data showed that overall enrollment metrics for Spanish-speaking individuals remained low, despite the administration's attempts to bolster Latino enrollment.
Further, the data provided an enrollment breakdown by state, showing that:
- Federal exchange enrollment is highest in Florida, with almost 1.3 million enrollees; and
- Texas has the second-highest number of federal exchange enrollees, at 918,890 (CQ Roll Call, 1/21).
According to Modern Healthcare, total exchange plan enrollment since the November 2014 launch of the Affordable Care Act's second open enrollment period has reached more than 8.2 million people when including the 990,000 people who have enrolled through state-run exchanges. HHS predicted that 9.1 million U.S. residents would enroll through the exchanges in 2015, while the Congressional Budget Office estimated enrollment would hit 13 million this year (Modern Healthcare, 1/21).
According to the AP/Sacramento Bee, administration officials are expecting enrollment to swell ahead of the Feb. 15 end of the open enrollment period (AP/Sacramento Bee, 1/21). In a release, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell on Wednesday urged U.S. residents who have not yet enrolled to do so before the deadline, noting that "[t]ime is running out" (Ferris, The Hill, 1/21).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.