November 1st marks the third open enrollment period for the Healthcare Insurance Marketplaces (aka Obamacare). That means we are only one week away from millions of Americans being able to log into Healthcare.gov and either buy insurance for the first time or choose from new plans if they enrolled for health insurance coverage last year. Before the launch of Healthcare.gov there were over 45 million people who lacked health insurance coverage. 50% of the uninsured populations lived in the country’s largest states: California, Texas, Florida, and New York. At the time, the number one reason Americans lacked coverage was due to affordability. Despite it’s very rocky start, Healthcare.gov has not only increased enrollment, it also outlined the financial help Americans were eligible for that would defray the costs of health insurance.
Who Enrolled Last Year?
The results are in. In 2014, more than 8 million Americans were able to receive private health insurance via Healthcare.gov or a state-run website. Most enrollees did not have health insurance coverage last year. Close to 75% of these enrollees received financial help to make the monthly cost of health insurance cheaper through advanced premium tax credits (tax credits that range in dollar amount based on income available to consumers while buying online). California enrolled 1.4 million people in 2014 representing 18% of total nationwide enrollment. Texas, Florida, and New York followed. All in, these four states represented close to 45% of the nationwide enrollment.
What Happened This Year?
Overall enrollment increased by 46% in 2015 (12 million new enrollments through Healthcare.gov)
- 85% of the 8 million enrollees in 2014 renewed their coverage into 2015
- Approximately 5 million new enrollments occurred in 2015
States with the highest growth year to year were from unlikely places:
- Louisiana +83% growth
- Oklahoma +82% growth
- Virginia +78% growth
- South Carolina +78% growth
- Alabama +75% growth
If you recall, Republican candidate, Mitt Romney won these states (except Virginia) during the 2012 Presidential Election. As for Virginia, President Obama narrowly won the state by only 3.87% percentage points. Despite the Governors and many of the residents of these states being against the Affordable Care Act (voting against their own self-interests), more than 400,000 people in these states were able to gain affordable health insurance coverage in 2015; most of which received financial help.
Source: Urban Institute – Marketplaces make significant progress in 2015
Who Were The Winners?
- Florida: With 1.6 million Floridians enrolled in a health plan from Healthcare.gov this year, the Sunshine state now represents the highest enrollment nationally surpassing California. This is again at political odds with the electorate since President Obama running to continue Obamacare lost this state by less than 1% (0.88%) to Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney , in 2012 calling to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
- California: Despite only growing by 2% from 2014 to 2015 barely adding 25,000 new enrollments, California is the 2nd largest state with Healthcare.gov enrollments. While the number of enrollees with financial help grew by 3% this year, the state lost more than 10% of their residents that were paying for health insurance without financial help.
- Texas: With 1.2 million Texans enrolled, the state remains in 3rd place despite having the highest percentage of uninsured people in America. Texas’ enrollment grew by more than 64% growing from their 2014 enrollment number of 730,000.
- North Carolina: North Carolina assumed New York’s 4th place spot growing by more than 56% to 560,000 enrollments in 2015. Once again, ironic in the sense that Mitt Romney also barely won this republican state by 2% in 2012 as well.
- Georgia: Georgia held on to their 5th place spot in 2015 growing enrollment by 70% to 541,000 enrollments. Gaining 16 electoral votes, Mitt Romney won Georgia 53.3% vs. Obama’s 45.5% with more than 2 million popular votes.
Ironically, three of the top four states that lead the nation in Healthcare.gov enrollment did not even advocate for this legislation back in 2012.
Source: HuffPost Election Politics – Marketplaces make significant progress in 2015