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HEADLINES: ACA Enrollment Continues to Surge During President Biden’s Special Enrollment Period

Nearly One Million People Have Signed Up for Coverage Since February. 

The Biden administration announced that 940,000 Americans signed up for insurance through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace between February 15 and April 30. Importantly, many of  these enrollees have been able to take advantage of the dramatic savings under the American Rescue Plan, with the average monthly premiums falling to $86 for those signing up in April. Another two million enrollees that signed up before the American Rescue Plan’s subsidies took effect returned to the Marketplace and saw their premiums cut by 40 percent. Coverage makes clear that the success of the special enrollment period builds momentum as the Biden administration seeks to make the American Rescue Plan’s subsidies permanent. 


New York Times: Nearly One Million People Signed Up For Obamacare Coverage This Spring. “A total of 940,000 people enrolled in Obamacare coverage between Feb. 15 and April 30, new data released Thursday by Health and Human Services shows. Of those new enrollees, nearly half bought coverage last month, after Congress added billions in subsidies included in the most recent stimulus package. With that additional funding, the average monthly premium that consumers paid fell to $86 for those signing up in April, down from $117 in February and March (before the new subsidies).” [New York Times, 5/6/21

  • New York Times: “The Surge In Sign-Ups Reflects A Growing Demand For Health Insurance.” “The surge in sign-ups reflects a growing demand for health insurance. Many Americans have lost job-based coverage during the pandemic, and others who were uninsured before found themselves newly interested in coverage. The numbers undercount the overall new insurance sign-ups; they reflect enrollment only in the 36 states with marketplaces that the federal government manages.” [New York Times, 5/6/21

Axios: Enrollment Surge May Help Democrats’ Push For ACA Changes. “Democrats’ big investments in the Affordable Care Act appear to be paying off.Driving the news: Almost 1 million Americans have signed up for ACA coverage since February, roughly half of them in April alone, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said yesterday. Why it matters: The strong enrollment numbers could help Democrats make the case that some of their changes to the ACA should become permanent.” [Axios, 5/7/21

  • Larry Levitt, Executive Vice President At The Kaiser Family Foundation, Said “The Success Of The ACA Enrollment Period…Has Political Significance For The Biden Administration, Looking To Build Support For A Permanent Increase In Premium Subsidies.” “‘The success of the ACA enrollment period has significance for the people who get newly covered or see their premiums or deductibles go down. It also has political significance for the Biden Administration, looking to build support for a permanent increase in premium subsidies,’ KFF executive vice president Larry Levitt tweeted.” [Axios, 5/7/21
  • On Average, New Enrollees Are Paying 25 Percent Less In Premiums Than Those Who Enrolled Before The American Rescue Plan’s Subsidies Took Effect. “People who enrolled after April 1 are paying, on average, 25% less in premiums than people who signed up in February or March. Deductibles were about 90% lower for people who signed up after the bigger subsidies took effect.” [Axios, 5/7/21
  • Two Million People Have Seen Their Premiums Fall By 40 Percent On Average After Going Back To The Marketplace And Recalculating Their Subsidies. “About 2 million people have seen their premiums fall after going back through the system to recalculate their costs after April 1, CMS said. The average savings for that group was 40%.” [Axios, 5/7/21

CNN: Almost A Million People Signed Up For Obamacare Coverage Through April After Biden Reopened Exchanges. “Almost a million people signed up for 2021 health insurance coverage on the federal Affordable Care Act exchange during the first 10 weeks of President Joe Biden’s special enrollment period, according to data released Thursday from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That’s well over double the number who turned to the exchange in the same period over the past two years, when enrollment was limited to those losing job-based policies and experiencing other major life events, such as divorce.” [CNN, 5/6/21

  • More Than 250,00 People Seeking Coverage During The SEP Have Found They Are Eligible For Medicaid. “Another 257,000 people seeking coverage during the special enrollment period were found to be eligible for Medicaid.” [CNN, 5/6/21
  • Two Million People Returned To The Marketplace And Saw Their Monthly Premiums Drop From $100 To $57 On Average. “About 1.9 million Obamacare enrollees returned to the federal exchange last month to take advantage of the heftier premium subsidies contained in the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. The assistance, which became available on April 1, has reduced monthly premiums by more than 40% — from $100 to $57, on average.” [CNN, 5/6/21
  • New Enrollees Saw Average Deductibles Fall By Nearly 90 Percent, From $450 To $50. “Also, the larger subsidies are enabling customers to sign up for plans with more generous benefits and lower out-of-pocket costs. The typical deductible for new consumers fell by nearly 90% to $50, from $450 for those selecting policies prior to April 1. Many of them likely have lower incomes and are eligible for additional cost-sharing subsidies.” [CNN, 5/6/21

The Hill: Nearly 940,000 Sign Up For ObamaCare Coverage In Special Enrollment. “The total number of new enrollees represents a jump from the more than 500,000 people who signed up for coverage by the end of March. The Biden administration implemented the special enrollment period to allow people who needed health insurance due to the disruption of the pandemic to have extra time to sign up. The period is slated to last until Aug. 15, meaning the number of enrollees could balloon even more” [The Hill, 5/6/21

Modern Healthcare: Sign-Ups Spike During Special Enrollment. “Nearly one million people have signed up for insurance through and premiums have fallen for many enrollees during the current special enrollment period, according to HHS on Thursday…The Biden plan also included expanding tax credits that would lower enrollees’ premiums. HHS said those tax credits lowered new enrollees’ average monthly premiums by 25%, and approximately 2 million people who returned to the exchanges saw 40% premium reductions. The median deductible for those selecting plans during the special enrollment period fell by 90%.” [Modern Healthcare, 5/6/21

MSNBC: Biden’s ACA Special Enrollment Period Continues To Pay Off. “Note, of the nearly 940,000 American consumers who’ve taken advantage of the special enrollment period, roughly half signed up for ACA coverage in the month of April…What’s more, this good news coincides with the expansive new ACA benefits included in the Democrats’ COVID relief package: Some will see their premiums cut in half, while millions will see their premiums fall to literally zero, thanks entirely to the investments in the American Rescue Plan.” [MSNBC, 5/6/21

Axios: Biden Administration Announces 940,000 ACA Sign-Ups So Far This Year. “There was a surge in sign-ups of about 470,000 people in the month of April alone. New subsidies and stimulus began April 1. By the numbers: Since April 1, premiums have decreased by an average of more than 40%, from $100 to $57, for almost 2 million enrollees, according to the Health and Human Services Department.” [Axios, 5/6/21]