Nearly 9 in 10 Obamacare Enrollees Qualify for Assistance in 2015

A progress report from the US Department of Health and Human Services shows the vast majority of Obamacare enrollees qualify for tax credits to help lower their monthly premium costs.

The vast majority of 2015 Obamacare enrollees will get financial assistance, according to data released by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Some 87% of people who signed up for health insurance at Healthcare.gov during the first month of 2015 open enrollment will qualify for financial assistance. That’s up from 80% during a similar period last year. HHS says about 4 million people signed up for healthcare in 2015 on the federal or state exchanges between mid-November and mid-December.

“Interest in the marketplace has been strong during the first month of open enrollment,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “We will have a ways to go and a lot of work to do before February 15, but this is an encouraging start.”

February 15 is the end of open enrollment for 2015.

Other early data show:

  • One-third of enrollees for 2015 are under the age of 35, a higher proportion than in 2014. Young enrollees are critical because their healthcare costs are generally lower, thus they help subsidize care for higher-cost patients.
  • About 1 million enrollees signed up in the 3 days leading up to Dec. 15. That’s important because Dec. 15 was the deadline for most plans if the consumer wanted their health plan to begin on Jan. 1. Later enrollees will have to wait between 2 and 6 weeks from their enrollment date before their plan begins.
  • Enrollment so far was evenly split between re-enrollees (48%) and new enrollees (52%).

Thirty-seven states are using the Healthcare.gov platform this year, which has performed better in its second year, following a disastrous rollout in 2014. The data in this report does not include enrollment numbers for most of the people who were automatically re-enrolled in their plans. That’s because the automatic re-enrollment process didn’t begin in most states until Dec. 16.