Health Insurance Marketplaces nationwide signed up nearly 4.9 million new customers for 2016 coverage during the third Open Enrollment period. In total, about 12.7 million people signed up or automatically renewed their plans for 2016 coverage, of which about 40 percent were new customers. In Ohio, approximately 95,000 were new customers to the Marketplace.
“Almost 5 million Americans were new to the Health Insurance Marketplaces in 2015 and about 20 million uninsured Americans have gained coverage because of the Affordable Care Act,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “This year’s customers are more engaged, savvier and better informed. New customers came in earlier because they wanted a full years coverage, and 70 percent of existing customers came back to shop and actively selected a plan.”
Customers in Ohio were highly active and engaged shoppers. People in Ohio who switched issuers as well as plans saved $61 per month, or nearly $735 annually for the same level of coverage. Nationally, about 66 percent of people who changed plans also changed issuers, and 31 percent of people who changed plans also changed their metal level.
As with past years, the vast majority of Marketplace customers signed up for coverage and received tax credits. More than 8 in 10 individuals (10.5 million) who selected or were automatically enrolled in a 2016 plan nationwide qualify for a tax credit. In Ohio, the average tax credit was $240 per month, or 59% percent of the gross premium, and the average premium after tax credits was $164 per month. In Ohio 53% of customers had the option of selecting a 2016 Marketplace plan with a premium of $75 or less per month after tax credits.
More than ever, Marketplace customers are engaged and satisfied with their coverage. About 60 percent (2.4 million) of new enrollees in HealthCare.gov states signed up for January 1 coverage compared to about 40 percent (1.9 million) of new enrollees last year. Instead of waiting until the last moment, as we saw in previous years, people signed up for coverage by the first deadline because they wanted coverage to start as soon as possible.
Finally, this year, 3.5 million people ages 18 to 34 signed up for coverage nationwide. In HealthCare.gov states, 2.7 million young people ages 18 to 34 signed up for 2016 coverage (28 percent of HealthCare.gov state plan selections). However, among new enrollees, 33 percent (1.3 million) were ages 18 to 34. That’s higher than last year when 31 percent of new customers (0.8 million) were ages 18 to 34 in HealthCare.gov states. The overall percentage of plan selections for those ages remains stable.