Update: 4.2 Million People Have Enrolled For Health Insurance Under The Affordable Care Act
Enrollments slowed during February, but a total of 4.2 million people have enrolled for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Not all of these people have paid their first premium, but that’s hovering around 80 percent. About 27 percent of the 4.2 million who have signed up are between the ages of 18 and 34, the age group that’s an important addition for keeping the costs at a reasonable level. To appeal to this group, the President appeared on the web series “Between Two Ferns” with comedian Zach Galifianakis. You can check that out here.
Originally posted on March 10, 2014
According to the The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index released today, 15.9 percent of Americans don’t have health insurance in 2014. This is a decline from 17.1 percent, the figure for the last three months of 2013.
The conclusion: upwards of four million people have signed up for health insurance now that the Affordable Care Act made it possible for them to enroll.
“Gallup said the share of Americans who lack coverage is on track to drop to the lowest quarterly level it measured since 2008, before Obama took office,” the Associated Press reports. Latinos are lagging in the enrollment numbers (down only .8 percent), so a “special pitch” to that demographic is in place, the article continues. President Obama led a town hall last week on this specific subject.
The biggest decline was in households earning less than $36,000 per year, down 2.8 percent. And for blacks, the uninsured rate has dropped 2.6 percent.
The results are based on 500 interviews per day for 350 days out of the year. “Gallup said the drop coincides with the start of coverage under the health care law on Jan. 1,” the AP concludes.
There are three more weeks left to the mandatory enrollment period, so we could see a spike in the number of people enrolling in order to meet the deadline. According to the Health and Human Services blog, the department has prepared thousands more customer service representatives in anticipation of the rush. The department is more aggressive with its tally of those who have signed up so far, saying it’s been four million people with another nine million signing up for Medicaid.
With the deadline coming March 31, First Lady Michelle Obama and members of the administration will also be doing a big push to mothers this week, the thinking that mothers will then turn around and boost enrollment through their families and word-of-mouth recommendations beyond that.
“The Affordable Care Act includes a lot of benefits that may appeal to women, including free preventive health care, contraceptive coverage and premium parity. Health plans can no longer charge women more than men just because they are women,” Politico notes.
“That site has 156 million unique visitors a month, and nearly two-thirds are women. In addition, about a third are ages 18 to 34, and many of these younger readers are uninsured,” the article continues.
Last week, for the 50th time, the Republican-led House of Representatives passed legislation to delay a penalty for those who do not enroll. The legislation will not pass the Democratic-led Senate, and would get vetoed if it went to President Obama anyway.
But last Wednesday, the administration did announce that they were delaying (again) the deadline for people who have existing health insurance policies that don’t meet the standards of the ACA.
“By allowing many people to keep their old plans for two years longer, the administration softened the blow for congressional Democrats up for reelection this fall. No longer do members have to fear a wave of cancellation letters right before the November midterm election,” says The Washington Post.
Have you signed up for health insurance through the ACA?