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HHS Says A Record Number of Americans Signed Up for ACA Insurance

December 22, 2021 by Dan McCue
The healthcare.gov website is seen, Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021 in Fort Washington, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON — A record 13.6 million Americans have already signed up for health coverage on the Affordable Care Act insurance marketplaces with a month left to go in the open enrollment period, the Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday.

Under the terms of the American Rescue Plan Act President Joe Biden signed into law last spring, 92% of those who signed up for plans through HealthCare.gov and state-based marketplaces by Dec. 15 will receive premium tax credits for 2022 coverage.

“The historic 13.6 million people who have enrolled in a health insurance plan so far this period shows that the demand and need for affordable health care remains high,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra in a written statement. “And we aren’t finished yet: people still have time to sign-up and get covered before the Jan. 15 deadline.”

According to HHS, since Biden took office in January 2021, more than 4.6 million Americans have newly gained health care coverage.

Since the start of open enrollment on Nov. 1, more than 9.7 million consumers enrolled in marketplace coverage in the 33 states using HealthCare.gov, the department said. 

This is over 900,000 more people than the previous all-time high of 8.8 million who signed up during the 2018 open enrollment period with 39 states using HealthCare.gov. 

The 18 state-based marketplaces that use their own platforms reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that through Dec. 11, almost 3.9 million consumers selected plans or were automatically re-enrolled in a plan for 2022 health coverage. 

This is up from last year when state-based marketplaces reported that 3.4 million consumers made a plan selection in the 15 state-based marketplaces through the sixth week of open enrollment in 2021.

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said the coronavirus pandemic is likely driving the accelerated pace of enrollments, inspiring more Americans to seek peace of mind about their health care coverage.

The current open enrollment period ends on Jan. 15 for coverage starting Feb. 1, 2022.

Consumers still wishing to enroll may do so by visiting HealthCare.gov and CuidadoDeSalud.gov or calling 1-800-318-2596. 

To find local help, consumers should go to https://localhelp.healthcare.gov. 

Consumers in states with state-based marketplace are advised to visit their marketplace for additional information on coverage deadlines.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

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