Millions of Uninsured People Eligible for Free Plans under the Affordable Care Act

With the open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act ending on Sunday, January 15th, millions of uninsured people are eligible for free plans. According to a recent analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation, approximately 5 million uninsured people are eligible for an Obamacare plan that is essentially free. For those with incomes up to 150% of poverty, these plans have cost-sharing subsidies that significantly lower deductibles.[0]

The amount of people who have already signed up this year has already hit record levels, with 16 million people having selected Obamacare policies since open enrollment began on November 1st.[1] This is an increase of 13% compared to last year.[0]

Four out of five Americans who purchase 2023 Obamacare/ACA health insurance can find plans for $10 or less per month when subsidies are included, federal health officials say. This is thanks to an increase in subsidies in this year’s Inflation Reduction Act.

What is contributing to the increasing trend?[2] The primary motivation is that the plans are now less expensive for individuals than they were previously.[2] In recent years, billions of dollars have been injected by the federal government into subsidies in order to maintain low prices for consumers.[2] According to health officials, 80% of enrollees are eligible for plans that cost no more than $10 per month. And 5 million people who are uninsured qualify for zero dollar premium plans.

Additionally, there’s been more logistical help available. Under the Affordable Care Act, a nationwide program of “navigators” was set up to assist people in comprehending their choices and enrolling in a health plan.[2] This service is funded by government grants.[2] The Trump administration slashed the funding for this program, but the Biden administration shored it up.[2]

Even after open enrollment ends, Americans with low income or who’ve lost health care benefits can still sign up throughout the year through a special enrollment period.[3] Healthcare.gov is the federal insurance marketplace, which Florida and lots of other states use, and people can call 1-800-318-2596 or visit localhelp.healthcare.gov for more information.[4]

0. “Affordable Care Act open enrollment ends Sunday amid record sign-ups” WDJT, 13 Jan. 2023, https://www.cbs58.com/news/affordable-care-act-open-enrollment-ends-sunday-amid-record-sign-ups

1. “Affordable Care Act Enrollment Period Closing Soon” WFXB, 13 Jan. 2023, https://www.wfxb.com/2023/01/13/affordable-care-act-enrollment-period-closing-soon/

2. “More people than ever buy insurance on Healthcare.gov – WABE” WABE 90.1 FM, 13 Jan. 2023, https://www.wabe.org/more-people-than-ever-buy-insurance-on-healthcare-gov/

3. “Open Enrollment for ACA Ends Sunday” WITN, 14 Jan. 2023, https://www.witn.com/2023/01/14/open-enrollment-aca-ends-sunday

4. “Open enrollment for ACA insurance has already had a record year for sign-ups” Prairie Public Broadcasting, 13 Jan. 2023, https://news.prairiepublic.org/2023-01-13/open-enrollment-for-aca-insurance-has-already-had-a-record-year-for-sign-ups