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ACA insurance surpasses 20 million enrollees


CMS announces figures blowing by last year’s record of 16.3 million enrollees.

health insurance: © Minerva Studio - stock.adobe.com

© Minerva Studio - stock.adobe.com

More than 20.35 million people have signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplace for 2024.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the figures for enrollment from Nov. 1 to Dec. 23 for 32 states using the federal HealthCare.gov website and 18 states and the District of Columbia using state-based marketplaces. The figure already has exceeded last year’s record.

Among the enrollees, 3.7 million, or 18%, were new to the ACA insurance, and 16.6 million people who had active coverage in 2023 selected a plan or were re-enrolled for 2024.

“Today is a momentous day. A record number of people in the United States have health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace – more than at any point in history,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a news release announcing the figures.

“More people with access to preventive care means a healthier country and lower health care costs across the board,” he said. “Quality health care gives people the peace of mind they need to participate fully in their communities, spend time with those they love, and pursue their part of the American Dream.”

Becerra and CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure credited the work of President Joe Biden and his administration for a commitment to health care. The Jan. 10 enrollment figure was an increase of 8 million people since the president took office, and federal workers have touted a record low national percentage of uninsured people.

“Today’s announcement means more than 20 million people have the security of knowing they have access to affordable health care in 2024,” Brooks-LaSure said in the news release. “This is a connection to insulin, to high blood pressure medication, to all essential health benefits. This year’s plan selection is a record-breaking achievement. It shows how far we’ve come and how much this administration values and is continuing to build on the legacy of the Affordable Care Act nearly 14 years since it was first passed.”

In the national figures for HealthCare.gov showed:

  • 12.4 million returning consumers
  • 3.13 million new consumers

Signing up in the SBMs were:

  • 4.22 million returning consumers
  • 591,082 new consumers

Insurance adds up

This will be the third year of record enrollment in ACA and SBM insurance plans, said Louise Norris, health policy analyst for healthinsurance.org. The insurance consultant for consumers issued its own news release about the CMS figures.

The increase is due in part to millions of people recently disenrolled from Medicaid and now are shopping for replacement coverage from the ACA Marketplace, Norris said. Health policy analyst KFF estimated at least 14.37 million Medicaid enrollees were disenrolled as of Jan. 9, with wide variation in disenrollment rates among the 50 states.

For most states, Jan. 16 will be the deadline for enrollment. But Norris noted there are exceptions:

  • Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington: Jan. 15
  • California, the District of Columbia, and New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island: Jan. 31
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