Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Rises in November
After a troubled start in October, enrollment in the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces rose substantially in November. The latest figures released by the Department of Health and Human Services show that more than 250,000 U.S. residents selected a health plan through the marketplaces in November, compared with just over 106,000 who had selected their plan in October. The total number of U.S. residents who have selected coverage since the exchanges opened for enrollment on Oct. 1 is now about 365,000.
According to HHS, the majority of enrollees signed up for coverage through state-run exchanges. However, more than 110,000 consumers chose a health plan from the federal site HealthCare.gov, more than four times higher than in October. Overall, 1.9 million consumers have completed applications for coverage through the state and federal online marketplaces; however, not all account creators have selected a plan. Agency officials said they expect the enrollment figures to grow over time, noting the technical improvements that have been made to the HealthCare.gov website. Nonetheless, the slow-growing enrollment figures cast doubt on whether the administration will be able to meet its enrollment of having seven million people sign up for coverage during the six-month open enrollment period.
December 23 is the last day consumers can sign up for coverage that takes effect January 1, but policyholders have until Dec. 31 to pay their first premium. Individuals who miss the December deadline still have until March 31 to sign up for coverage in the marketplaces. For coverage effective February 1, the enrollment deadline is January 15. For more information and resources to help your clients get enrolled, visit the Enroll America website and stay tuned to the National Council’s Tuesday Countdown emails.