As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace has seen a significant surge in enrollments in 2023, the upcoming enrollment period is expected to continue the same torrid pace. With projected growth in uninsured and individual plans, enhanced subsidies and expanded eligibility criteria could lead the ACA Marketplace to experience record-breaking numbers of enrollments.
Growing ACA Marketplace for open enrollment
As of early 2023, the ACA Marketplace has witnessed record highs in enrollment figures. Since the introduction of enhanced premium assistance, a larger number of people are opting for coverage through the Marketplace. This trend has led to a decline in off-Marketplace coverage purchases. At the same time, the overall individual market is still growing, indicating a positive shift toward increased health insurance coverage.
The impact of subsidies on open enrollment
One of the key factors contributing to the rise in Marketplace enrollments is the availability of enhanced subsidies. With the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), individuals with incomes above 400% of the poverty level now have access to capped premiums.
Previously ineligible for subsidies, individuals can now obtain affordable coverage, promoting greater participation in the ACA Marketplace. And that’s not likely to change until 2025.
The ARPA's subsidies have not only attracted individuals from off-Marketplace plans to the Marketplace but have also helped boost overall individual market enrollment. As a result, approximately 4 in 5 individual market enrollees are now subsidized, according to KFF.org.
“That means premiums are capped for people with incomes over 400% of the poverty level ($120,000 for a family of 4 in 2024) who were ineligible for subsidies previously, and those who were already eligible for subsidies are paying even less than they were before,” KFF.org wrote in a recent article.
Anticipated enrollments in 2024
Considering the continued availability of enhanced subsidies and the growing awareness of the benefits provided by the ACA Marketplace, it is expected that enrollments will reach new heights in 2024. Individuals who were previously uninsured or those purchasing individual coverage off-Marketplace are likely to explore the options available through the ACA Marketplace to take advantage of the subsidies and comprehensive coverage options.
The ACA Marketplace is poised for an unprecedented surge in enrollments in 2024. With the availability of enhanced subsidies and expanded eligibility criteria, more individuals will have access to affordable health insurance coverage. The Marketplace's record-breaking enrollments reflect the success of the ACA in improving access to healthcare. As the open enrollment period approaches, individuals will have plenty of options to explore through the ACA Marketplace to secure the coverage they need.