The ACA open enrollment is proceeding. Health insurance claimants for plans sold on the federal and state HIEs are enrolling at present, and there is very little time left for individuals who have yet to select a plan for 2016.
Following a solid initial two weeks compared to what has been seen in previous years, enrollment has retarded, but a month after that, more than 2 million individuals have selected health insurance through the Federal HIE, or healthcare.gov. Among these enrollees, over a third are new consumers, while the rest hold coverage being renewed from previous years. The HIE portal serves 38 states, while the rest of the states have elected to raise their own Exchanges operated at the state level.
A significant number of consumers are expected to automatically re-enroll in their current plan for this year. Still, the administration is encouraging them to buy coverage each year, owing to the possibility of their financial assistance for their monthly premium varying with respect to the plans available each year. These subsidies are set based on a benchmark plan for each market, because this silver plan is the second lowest in cost. If the latter changes, then so does the amount of subsidies for other purchased plans.
The government is also trying to get previously uninsured parties who are enrollees, to buy health insurance. HHS projects between 11 million and 14.1 million consumers purchasing insurance in the individual market. The estimates show 2.8 to 3.9 million of these consumers being uninsured.
HHS is also laying this out to the younger consumer crowd, as well as to some minority populations, which have shown low enrollment rates in response to more aggressive marketing. HHS holds the belief that most of people, who have yet to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan, are eligible for financial assistance, but may not know the fact.
Enrollment projections by the department are looking strong at 11 million to 14 million, although it needs to be noted that at the time of ACA’s enactment in 2010, budget estimates relied on the assumption that over 20 million would buy insurance through a Federal or State HIE in the year 2015.