14.5 million in the ACA due to American Rescue Plan

January 2021 finds 14.5 million people having healthcare plans due to Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act. As commenter “Arne” pointed out, this represents an increase of ~2.98 million more people insured under the ACA.

Even the other Joe voted for it. Manchin that is.

Kind of catching up with old news here. Earlier this year mid- January (some states end enrollment at the end of January), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced 14.5 million people enrolled for marketplace healthcare insurance coverage January 15, 2022. It is kind of a “so-what” for many people who have had employer sponsored commercial healthcare insurance much of their lives and still do! Afterwards, you move on to Medicare and commercial supplement insurance. If you make too much money for Medicaid, your state may like to give the poor a hard time, are left in the gap (100 to 138%) in the non-expansion states; you pretty much are on your own. Been there too and done that, argued with a doctor when I had pneumonia (he did not care). A clerk in billing finally told me where to go for imagining, etc.

I am wandering in the above comment. The 14.5 million in the ACA marketplace healthcare insurance coverage plans represents a 21% increase in 2022 from 2021. The numeric went from 12.0 million as of the end of the Open Enrollment Period for 2021 to 14.5 million in 2022. Click on the picture to enlarge.

So what was the big deal and why did this happen?

If you really must know, just about every other civilized country globally has some type of healthcare coverage, much of it government sponsored, and (I will go out on a limb here), and all of them far cheaper than our healthcare coverage. Although, nobody has tackled cost versus the price of healthcare. I always determine costs first before I look at prices.

Where have you been hiding if you have not heard this before? So why the big surge? The primary cause of the enrollment increase were the boosts to premium subsidies provided by the American Rescue Plan in March 2021 (witness the enrollment surge [see chart below]) in the emergency Special Enrollment Period in effect when the boosted subsidies came into effect). Ramped – up federally funded enrollment assistance and advertising may also have helped.

2021 SEP Final Enrollment Report (hhs.gov)

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (COVID-19 relief) law passed in March 2021 expanded Marketplace subsidies above 400% of poverty and also increased subsidies for those making between 100% and 400% of the poverty level, for two years (2021 and 2022), consistent with what President Biden proposed during his campaign.

The additional subsidies lowered premium payments for the majority of 15 million  uninsured people who are eligible to buy on the Marketplace and the nearly 14 million people insured on the individual market.  We are now in the second year of this act. I doubt it will be passed again in 2023 Unless of course, the Senators and the House Representative’s healthcare plans are tied to it.

Let’s enjoy it while we can. By the way, all the Democrats and the two independents voted for this bill. Yes, even Machin figured this would be a good thing to have available during a nation – wide pandemic. I heard justice Clarence Thomas is in the hospital suffering from flu-like symptoms.

Some additional reading if you wish to learn more.

xpostfactoid: “Good news alert: Web search for health insurance has been cleaned up”

“Marketplace Enrollment Reaches New Record Of 14.5 – Million” | Health Affairs

“Provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 COVID-19 Relief on Marketplace Premiums” | KFF