WASHINGTON - At least 7.1 million people have enrolled in 2015 health plans through the Affordable Care Act insurance marketplaces, according to a pair of federal reports issued Tuesday.
As of Friday, 6.5 million people had signed up for coverage in federally run exchanges - that includes new enrollments, people actively reenrolling, and existing customers who allowed their coverage to automatically renew, according to the Department of Health and Human Services' weekly enrollment update.
A second HHS report, which provides the most comprehensive look at the new enrollment period, found that 633,000 people selected coverage in the 14 states running their own health insurance marketplaces as of Dec. 15. That is in addition to those who signed up through the federal exchanges, for a total of roughly 7.1 million.
However, HHS said most states had not reported complete information about the number of reenrollments, meaning the actual enrollment count is likely higher.
Federal officials announced that 180,046 Pennsylvanians and 105,306 New Jerseyans had selected health plans on the federally facilitated websites by the Dec. 15 deadline for coverage starting Thursday. In Pennsylvania, 79 percent of enrollees were found to be eligible for financial assistance. In New Jersey, that figure was 82 percent.
Nationally, about 3.4 million people had actively selected an exchange plan in the 37 states relying on the HealthCare.gov enrollment platform as of Dec. 15, the federal deadline to sign up for coverage starting Jan. 1.
About 87 percent of those people qualified for premiums subsidies, and about 52 percent were purchasing coverage through the federal-run marketplaces for the first time. The remaining 48 percent were returning customers who either selected a new plan or actively reenrolled in existing coverage.
By comparison, just 106,000 people had selected exchange plans in the first month of enrollment last year, when severe technology flaws threatened the launch of the law's coverage expansion. This current enrollment period has run much more smoothly, though some customers are experiencing problems on a smaller scale.
HHS has been providing weekly enrollment snapshots over the last month, but Tuesday's monthly report provided the most detailed breakdown to date of who is signing up for exchange coverage in the second year of the ACA's coverage expansion, with another major Supreme Court decision on the health-care law looming in 2015.
The administration seems likely to hit its goal of enrolling 9.1 million in 2015. That's significantly lower than the 13 million originally projected by the Congressional Budget Office.
The enrollment period is to end Feb. 15, just weeks before the Supreme Court hears arguments on a suit challenging the legality of subsidies provided through the federal-run exchanges. If the Supreme Court accepts ACA opponents' argument that the law only authorizes subsidies in states that set up their own exchanges, that would invalidate financial assistance to millions of enrollees in states relying on HealthCare.gov, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
BY THE NUMBERS
Number of Pennsylvanians who selected health plans on federally facilitated websites by the Dec. 15 deadline.
105,306 Number of New Jerseyans who did the same.
Percent of Pennsylvania enrollees who were
found to be eligible for financial assistance.
for New Jersey.