The 2016 open enrollment period for health insurance plans sold in HIEs has officially ended. With this over now, information is starting to flow in towards the third open enrollment period. In the middle of January, HHs had announced that 8.9 million customers have signed up for health-coverage using the HealthCare.gov platform or had their existing coverage renewed automatically.
These figures do not include enrollments done through a state exchange though. The final figures will be put out in the weeks ahead, which will reveal how many of the enrollees this year will maintain their coverage until the end of December.
For avoiding a financial penalty for not having ACA approved health insurance, it is only required that individuals show coverage for nine months a year. This technically means an individual registering for coverage starting January 1, 2016 could drop it before year’s end and not have to pay the tax penalty.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) also reviewed its enrollment estimates by saying fewer people will join in and maintain coverage for policies on the HIEs this year, compared to this year’s projection. CBO had earlier said that 13 million people will get into the ACA plans using both Federal and state exchanges this year, and although a healthy number, it is still a long way off from the March 2015 projection of 21 million.
The week before last in open enrollment saw HHS start to publish data on the 2016 insurance market, which says that the average premium of plans sold on the federal HIE went up about 9 percent to $408 a month. But a vast majority of consumers were assisted financially by the government, and so paid less than that amount. And according to the report, consumers who shopped for new plans this year have piled up an average of $43 a month after accounting for premium subsidiaries.
The data here is based on enrollment figures through the end of last year. These numbers will be updated after the enrollment numbers are released in a few weeks. However, it is improbable that this will show much variance, because most people had already enrolled by December.
Until now, 63 percent of enrollees are eligible for tax credits to bring down their monthly premium. This enabled them to keep payments under $75 monthly. And the average tax credit for 2016 has gone up from last year’s $268 per month, to $294 per month.