The final day to enroll in the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace is January 31.
Although final numbers haven’t been released yet, at last report, more than 167,500 Hoosiers had enrolled through the ACA marketplace. And about a quarter of them are first-time ACA enrollees this period.
Mark Fairchild is the director of public policy with Covering Kids and Families of Indiana and says the new enrollees prove the ACA increases coverage.
“That’s tremendous,” says Fairchild. “Looking at the number of Hoosiers who have gained or improved their health coverage through these programs.”
Hoosiers have four insurance providers offering plans on the health insurance marketplace and about 83 percent of Hoosiers qualify for subsidies.
An additional 406,000 Hoosiers have signed up for health insurance through HIP 2.0 which is Indiana’s version of Medicaid expansion made possible through the ACA.
While numbers continue to grow, the growth is slowing. When open enrollment began in November, 250,000 new enrollees signed up, nationally, in the first two weeks. Fairchild says, since then, numbers have tapered off.
“Things have definitely leveled off, and yes it’s speculation to say that it’s all due to the uncertain environment, but we do know that’s the big thing that has happened,” says Fairchild.
Fairchild emphasizes that whatever happens with the future of healthcare, 2017 marketplace plans are good through at least 2017.
“Insurance contracts go through the calendar year, so there’s nothing that would end or remove their coverage at that point, and they are still contracted through a managed care entity that has to uphold those contracts,” says Fairchild.
You may still qualify for a special enrollment period if you have other life changes like marriage or having a baby. Otherwise, for last day enrollees, the last day to enroll is today and coverage will start March 1.