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Health CareHHS: Record 31 million Americans have health care coverage through ACA | #healthcare | #elderly | #seniors

HHS: Record 31 million Americans have health care coverage through ACA | #healthcare | #elderly | #seniors


As new Marketplace consumers activate their health plan coverage, ACA-related enrollment is expected to continue to climb through the end of the special enrollment period in August. (Photo: Shutterstock)

A record 31 million Americans now have health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. A new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides insight into how that historic high was reached, adding that uninsured rates in every state have dropped since the law’s coverage expansions took effect.

The historic number of people with coverage is based on enrollment data from late 2020 and early 2021 in the Marketplace or Medicaid expansion coverage.

Related: ACA marketplaces see decreasing premiums, healthier competition

Here are five highlights of the HHS report:

  1. As of February 2021, 11.3 million consumers were enrolled in Marketplace plans, and 14.8 million people were newly enrolled in Medicaid via the ACA’s expansion of eligibility to adults as of December 2020.
  2. Nearly 4 million previously eligible adults gained coverage under Medicaid expansion due to enhanced outreach, streamlined applications, and increased federal funding under the ACA.
  3. Between 2010 and 2016, the number of non-elderly uninsured adults decreased by 41%, from 48.2 million to 28.2 million. California, Kentucky, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and West Virginia have reduced their uninsured rate by at least half from 2013 to 2019 via enrollment in Marketplace coverage and expansion of Medicaid to adult populations.
  4. To date, 37 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the ACA Medicaid expansion of coverage to adults.
  5. Minnesota and New York have implemented the Basic Health Program (BHP) option under the ACA, with enrollment reaching approximately 1 million in early 2021. BHP is a benefits coverage program for low-income residents who would otherwise be eligible to purchase coverage through the Marketplace.

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans have been able to enroll in high-quality, affordable coverage through the Marketplaces and Medicaid expansion,” Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said in a statement. “The Biden-Harris Administration is working to strengthen these vital programs that have advanced health equity and improved health outcomes. With the implementation of the American Rescue Plan, which builds on the ACA, health coverage is more affordable and accessible than ever. As we rebuild from the health and economic impacts of the pandemic and work to address the disparities it has illuminated, we’ll protect and build on the ACA to ensure Americans can access the care they need.”

The Biden administration has opened HealthCare.gov for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP), resulting in more than 1 million new consumers signing up for coverage since February 15. As new Marketplace consumers activate their health plan coverage, ACA-related enrollment will continue to climb through the end of the SEP in August, HHS officials say. The SEP is available to consumers in the 36 states with Marketplaces that use the HealthCare.gov platform.

The ACA was enacted in 2010 and was the largest expansion of coverage in the U.S. health care system since the 1965 passage of Medicare and Medicaid.

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