WEDNESDAY, Feb. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 3.3 million
Americans have signed up for health insurance through the state and
federal marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act, the Obama
administration announced Wednesday.
About 25 percent of those who have selected a health plan are
young adults, aged 18 to 34.
That demographic has been considered crucial to the success of
the health reform law, often called Obamacare, because young people
help offset the cost of covering older, sicker individuals.
The administration's new enrollment report shows that 1.1
million people selected a health plan in January.
"With the benefit of a full month of January data, we're able to paint a more holistic picture of enrollment to date, and it's very encouraging news," U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said during a Wednesday afternoon news conference.
Since Oct. 1, 2013, 1.4 million people have selected a health
insurance plan through one of the state-based marketplaces and 1.9
million entered via the federal marketplace, HealthCare.gov.
The health marketplaces, or exchanges, got off to a rocky start
last October, when the federal website and some states experienced
problems that made enrolling difficult.
The current open enrollment period continues through March
The U.S. Congressional Budget Office now expects 6 million
people to sign up for coverage in 2014. That's 1 million fewer
enrollees than it had originally projected.
The new report also highlights the following results:
The new report does not indicate how many people who signed up
for coverage through the exchanges have paid their premiums. Nor
does it indicate how many previously uninsured Americans have
enrolled through the new marketplaces.
However, the results of a new Gallup survey released Wednesday
show that the number of uninsured adults in the United States
dropped to 16 percent from January to early February. That is the
lowest level in five years.
Anne Filipic, President of Enroll America, said the numbers were
encouraging, if not surprising. The nonprofit group works to enroll
as many people as possible in health insurance plans.
"Enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace continues to accelerate every month, and almost 3.3 million people have now enrolled in private coverage since the marketplace opened, in addition to the more than 6 million who have gotten covered through Medicaid," she said in a statement.
"Particularly encouraging is the fact that young adult enrollment grew by 65 percent in January, the biggest increase of any age group," Filipic added. "Based on past enrollment efforts, our research and what we're hearing in the field, we've always said that young people would wait until later in the open enrollment period to make their decision, and we're now seeing that pattern begin to play out."
Go to HealthCare.gov to learn more about
new coverage options.
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