The Department of Health and Human Services expects that 13.8 million Americans will sign up for health insurance during the Affordable Care Act (ACA) 2017 open enrollment period between November 1 and the end of January 2017.
This would be an increase of 1.1 million people from last year’s 12.7 million enrollees.
Of the 13.8 million, 9.2 million people are expected to be re-enrollees from last year, 3.5 million people are projected to be formerly uninsured, and 1.1 million are projected to be currently on non-marketplace individual plans.
HHS did say that, as with the past three years, the number of people that will actually effectuate their insurance — that is active or start using — will be lower than those that select plans.
“Based on the experience of the Marketplaces’ first three years, we expect that plan selections at the end of Open Enrollment will exceed Marketplace effectuated enrollment as the year progresses,” said a release from the HHS. “The number of individuals joining through Special Enrollment Periods (SEP) throughout the year does not fully offset those who leave for other forms of coverage or other reasons.”
In 2016, 10 million people effectuated their insurance versus the 12.7 million people that enrolled. This year, the HHS projects the number of people effectuating their coverage to increase to 11.7 million.
There are a few reasons for this: people getting employer-based coverage, switching onto a government plan such as Medicaid or Medicare, or people simply never starting the plan. According to the release from the HHS, a case study in California showed that 85% of people who do not effectuate their healthcare move to another form of coverage.
The HHS did warn that due to the young age of the exchanges there is a “high degree of uncertainty about any projection.”