The Joe Biden administration announced Tuesday that there is a large increase in the number of new customers buying private health insurance by 2023 on the online marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act.
Nearly 3.4 million people have registered for coverage, representing an increase of 17% compared to the same period last year. The enrollment surge comes at a time when the number of uninsured Americans hit a record low of 8%.
“When you have a good product, people will buy it,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra told The Associated Press.
More than 665,000 new customers have purchased policies on the market since enrollment opened on November 1.
The Department of Health and Human Services did not provide demographic details about the new enrollees, but Becerra said she hopes the agency is reaching out to people in underserved communities. This year, the market saw strong increases in the number of Black, Latino, and Native American people seeking coverage.
Between 2020 and 2022, the number of registered Latinos rose from 1.7 million to 2.6 million, while 1.3 million black people registered last year, up from 900,000 the previous year. The number of Native American Indians increased from 52,000 to 68,000.
“There is a very good chance that we will continue to get communities that have been left out to sign up,” Becerra said.
The increase in enrollments is due in part to generous subsidies extended through 2025 by the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief act, which keep monthly premiums at zero or a few dollars for most people who sign up.
People can sign up at HealthCare.gov or through their state marketplace by December 15 for coverage starting January 1.
Source: El Nuevo Herald