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Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

ACA Enrollment Hits 8 Million, Says President Obama

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Today, in a speech delivered in the White House briefing room, President Barack Obama announced that 8 million people have signed up for private insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). President Obama argued in his remarks that the success of the law’s inaugural open enrollment period should mark the end of efforts to repeal the health reform law. Still, the available data leave many questions unanswered, including the number of enrollees who have actually paid their premiums and the number who were previously uninsured.

In a press release, the White House provided further details on ACA enrollment, including:

  • 35 percent of those who have signed up are under 35 years old and 28 percent are between 18 and 34 years old;
  • 3 million young adults have gained coverage through their parents’ plan;
  • 5 million people are enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards outside the marketplace, according to CBO; and
  • 3 million more people were enrolled in Medicare and CHIP as of February.

The announcement coincides with the most recent release of data from the monthly Gallup poll on the uninsured rate in the U.S. That poll found that the uninsured rate during the first quarter of 2014 dropped the most in states that both expanded Medicaid and engaged in either a state-run or federal-state partnership health insurance exchange. Gallup also found that four percent of U.S. adults are newly insured this year, most with lower incomes than previously insured Americans but little significant difference in their health status.