2017 Landscape of Health Insurance Marketplace

Posted by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on January 16, 2017

Outpacing last year, more than 11.5 million people are signed up for Marketplace coverage
Key deadline of January 15th is fast approaching; consumers can still sign up through January 31st

A new report released January 10th by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shows that more than 11.5 million people nationwide were signed up for Health Insurance Marketplace coverage as of December 24, 2016, an increase of 286,000 plan selections relative to the comparable period last year. In addition, more than 700,000 New Yorkers and Minnesotans also signed up for 2017 coverage through their states Basic Health Programs (BHPs), bringing the total signed up for coverage through either the Marketplace or a BHP to 12.2 million.

“Nationwide demand for health coverage is higher than ever, as Americans prove again that Marketplace coverage is vital to them and their families,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “For Americans who have not yet signed up, it’s not too late. Open enrollment continues through January 31st, but you should visit http://HealthCare.gov by January 15th to ensure your coverage starts February 1st. Most HealthCare.gov consumers can find a plan for less than $75 per month in premiums, and millions are finding plans that meet their and their families’ needs.”

Growing demand for Marketplace coverage refutes predictions that 2017 premiums changes would lead to sharp declines in enrollment and a so-called “death spiral,” a notion also debunked in a report released today by the Council of Economic Advisors. Instead, today’s data show that a broad cross-section of Americans continue to rely on the Marketplace to access affordable, quality coverage. In the 39 states using the http://HealthCare.gov enrollment platform for 2017, more than 8.7 million people signed up for coverage. This group includes:

· 8 million female and 4.0 million male consumers.

· 9 million White, 584,000 African-American, 882,000 Latino, and 573,000 Asian consumers.

· 6 million rural Americans.

· 840,000 children, 2.3 million adults age 18-34, 3.2 million adults age 35-54, and 2.5 million older Americans. The share of consumers age 18-34, 26 percent, is the same as last year at this time.

The report underscores the importance of financial assistance for Marketplace consumers across the country. More than 8 in 10 individuals – 9.3 million people – who are signed up for 2017 plans through the Marketplace will receive advance premium tax credits. Among the 7.2 million HealthCare.gov consumers who will receive tax credits, tax credits will reduce premiums by an average of $386 per month. On an annual basis, that works out to $4,600 per year.

Today’s report also shows that Marketplace consumers are actively engaged with their coverage. Among HealthCare.gov returning consumers, 65 percent came back to the Marketplace and actively selected a plan, an increase from last year’s already high 60 percent active renewal rate.

Open Enrollment continues through January 31st. Last year, enrollment slowed in the middle of January but spiked in the days before the final deadline. Plan selection totals will also fluctuate over the remainder of Open Enrollment as some consumers choose to cancel their plans, for example in response to life changes like starting a new job with employer coverage or gaining eligibility for Medicare or Medicaid.

Consumers have until January 15th to sign up for coverage that starts February 1. With millions of Americans still in need of affordable, quality health insurance for 2017, HHS will continue its outreach to make sure uninsured Americans know about the coverage and financial assistance available through HealthCare.gov. Through the rest of this month, we’ll be running additional TV and radio advertising, sending targeted emails to consumers, and continuing our innovative partnerships with sites like Twitch, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. And new this year, the IRS will send direct mail to people who went without health insurance in 2015, encouraging them to get covered instead of paying the penalty and letting them know that financial help is available.

An estimated 72 percent of Marketplace consumers can find plans for less than $75 per month, and the large majority of Marketplace consumers nationwide are satisfied with their coverage and report that it offers them financial security and access to care. Consumers should visit http://HealthCare.gov or http://CuidadodeSalud.gov, their state Marketplace, or call 1-800-318-2596 to review their coverage options, learn about what financial assistance is available, or to sign up or re-enroll in a plan that best meets their needs.

To read today’s report and see state level tables visit: https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2017-Fact-Sheet-items/2017-01-10.html

To read the Council of Economic Advisors issue brief, “Understanding Recent Developments in the Individual Health Insurance Market,” visit: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/page/files/201701_individual_health_insurance_market_cea_issue_brief.pdf

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