The Biden administration reported Wednesday that a record 16.3 million people sought health insurance under the Affordable Care Act this year, more than double the number of people covered when the exchanges opened nearly ten years ago.
The marketplace, popularly known as “Obamacare,” welcomed more than 3 million new members, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
According to Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the government invested in program specialists who assisted in enrolling more people in low-income, immigrant, Black, and Latino communities.
She said that to serve the hardest-to-reach populations, “we made extraordinary investments to expand our enrollment organization footprint into nearly every county in the country.”
The enrollment increase occurs when the percentage of uninsured Americans is at an all-time low; only 8% of Americans are still without health insurance.
Over the past two years, President Joe Biden and a Democratic-led Congress have committed millions of dollars to expand access to affordable health plans for more people and prevent states from taking individuals off Medicaid during the COVID-19 outbreak.
With new insurers joining the market, it has also changed in recent years, providing the vast majority of Americans with at least three options to choose from when enrolling in a plan.
Under a significant climate and health care deal supported by Democrats last year, those coverage lapses were extended through 2025.
A portion of that progress is in jeopardy this year, as millions of people are anticipated to lose their Medicaid coverage beginning in the spring as states start the process of removing people who are no longer eligible, frequently because their income has increased to the point where it is no longer acceptable.
The administration stated that it is spending $12 million to maintain information professionals on the job in the upcoming months to assist people enrolling in the health law marketplace if they lose Medicaid coverage.
Some of those who will lose Medicaid are anticipated to migrate to the market.