With the open enrollment period for the Affordable Care ActÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Health Insurance Marketplace just past its midway point (you can still sign up through the end of March), new enrollment stats are in: Almost 2.2 million people have signed up for plans through the Marketplace as of Dec. 28, 2013, according to a report released today by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think success looks like at least 7 million people having signed up by the end of March 2014,Ã¢â‚¬Â HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in an October interview with NBC Nightly News. While enrollment isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t currently pacing to hit that number, HHS officials say that theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re happy with the latest stats.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The demographics weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re reporting today are similar to our expectations,Ã¢â‚¬Â Nancy Delew, HHS acting deputy assistant secretary for planning and evaluation, said in a press conference held earlier today. The number of signups in December was more than seven times the number of signups in October and November combinedÃ¢â‚¬”an upward trend that the administration says they expect to continue as the open enrollment period enters its final months.
Demographic breakdowns of the number of people enrolled were also made available today, as officials announced that eight times as many 18- to 34-year-olds signed up for plans during December as did during October and November combined.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“What we expect to see here is more and more younger people come in,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Gary Cohen,Ã¢â‚¬Â¨deputy administrator and director of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid ServiceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight. He notes that 21 percent of people currently enrolled in a plan obtained through the Marketplace are adults younger than 34 (to put that in comparison, 26 percent of the general population under 65 falls into that age group). Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re very pleased with the percentage we have so far, and we expect that percentage to increase,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Cohen.
Interestingly, men have not signed up at the same rate as women; while men account for 50 percent of the non-elderly population in the U.S., 54 percent of the people who have selected a Marketplace plan are female.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll make sure our sustained outreach includes a particular emphasis on reaching young adults and males in particular through the end of the open enrollment period,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Julie Bataille, director of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid ServiceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office of communications.
This newly released data comes on the heels of last weekÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s announcement that Obamacare will cover breast cancer-prevention drugs.
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