CMS: ACA Enrollment At Record Level

CMS said in a press release that 13.6 million people had enrolled in ACA plans through Healthcare.gov and state-run exchanges.

CMS announced today that more than 13.6 million people had enrolled in ACA health plans that will provide health insurance coverage next year. The press release described the enrollment has a “historic high.”

According to CMS, more than 9.7 million people have enrolled in plans in the 33 states that use the federal government’s insurance exchange, HealthCare.gov, and another 3.9 million have enrolled through state-run exchanges in 17 states. (The District of Columbia also runs its own exchange).

Open enrollment in the Healthcare.gov states started on November 1 and ends January 15. States that with their own ACA exchanges can, and often do. have a longer enrollment period.

The CMS press release says the previous record for enrollment through Healthcare.gov was 8.8 million during the 2018 open enrollment period.

Enrollment has increased for a number of reasons. Premiums have dipped. In the HealthCare.gov states, the average benchmark plan premium is about 3% lower than in 2021, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation “issue brief” published in October. In addition, the subsides that offset the cost of those premiums have increased as a result of the American Rescue Plan legislation that President Joe Biden signed into law in March.

The increased subsidies mean that the premiums for a benchmark silver plan are now fully covered for people with incomes up to 150% of the federal poverty level. The legislation also extended eligibility for ACA subsidies to people with higher incomes (up to 400% of the federal poverty level).