HHS reports that more people signed up for insurance coverage in 2016 than they did in 2015
The Department of Health and Human Services has released data showing that 12.7 million people throughout the United States have enrolled for health insurance coverage through exchanges for 2016 coverage. Enrollment numbers surged during the last hours of the open enrollment period as consumers scrambled to acquire the health insurance policies they need to avoid a federal penalty. The open enrollment period seems to have been a success, ensuring that more people than previous years have access to insurance coverage.
9.6 million people enroll for coverage through federal exchange network
Of the 12.7 million that have enrolled for coverage, 9.6 million chose to do so through the federal exchange network, HealthCare.gov. Before the open enrollment period began, the federal government worked to improve the exchange network, hoping to provide consumers with better service through HealthCare.gov. The changes that the government made to the exchange system proved successful and many consumers were able to acquire the health insurance policies that they were interested in.
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More consumers acquire coverage thanks to government subsidies
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, some 3.1 million people enrolled in state-run health insurance exchange during the open enrollment period. Overall, the majority of consumers that used exchanges are also eligible for subsidies from the federal government. These subsidies were introduced through the Affordable Care Act and are meant to reduce the cost of health insurance policies. Thanks to the subsidies, many consumers that were unable to afford coverage were able to pay for the policies that they acquired.
Florida reports the largest number of enrollees
Florida lead the way in terms of enrollments. The state reported some 1,742,900 enrollees. Texas followed behind with 1.3 million enrollees. Notably, however, many people in Texas still lack health insurance coverage, with the state leading in terms of total uninsured population. State officials have been working to address this issue, but their efforts have been largely unsuccessful. One of the reasons consumers do not acquire coverage is because of the relatively high cost of health insurance policies.