HHS: 9.5 million Americans have health insurance from public exchanges

More than 9.5 million Americans have purchased health insurance or been automatically reenrolled in plans during the second enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act exchanges, according to data released Tuesday by Department of Health and Human Services. This eclipses the goal of 9.1 million signups by Feb. 15, when the second year of open enrollment ends, though attrition will likely drive the number down.

HHS collected data from Nov. 15, when open enrollment began, through Jan. 17, and found that 7.1 million consumers purchased coverage or were automatically reenrolled in 2015 plans on the federal marketplace. Nearly 2.4 million received coverage from the 14 state-run exchanges.

Other notable findings include:

  • More than 87,000 young adults (ages 18 to 25) purchased a plan on a state-run exchange, while over 750,000 did so using Healthcare.gov.
  • Nearly 1.3 million individuals purchased a bronze plan on the federal exchange, while 246,660 did so on a state-run exchange.
  • About 4.16 million individuals reenrolled in a Healthcare.gov plan, while 3 million purchased coverage on the marketplace for the first time.

This open enrollment period's success may be attributed to a smooth rollout back in November, one devoid of technical glitches that plagued last year's period, as FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

"We still have a lot of work to do before February 15, but are encouraged by the strong interest we've seen so far," HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said in a statement.

Additionally, HHS found that 87 percent of federal marketplace consumers purchased a plan using federal subsidies. On March 4, the Supreme Court will hear King v Burwell, a lawsuit that challenges the legality of these subsidies. The latest tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that, should the Court strike down the subsidies, 64 percent of Americans believe Congress should restore them. Another 59 percent believe states should then create their own exchanges in order to offer subsidized plans, according to the poll.

Last year, 6.7 million Americans signed up for insurance on the federal and state marketplaces. 

For more:
- here's the HHS report (.pdf) and statement
- here's the KFF tracking poll