Open enrollment for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, ends this year for Americans on January 30. Before the window closes, however, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released an enrollment report for January. By statistically analyzing the data so far between the beginning of enrollment on November 1 and the end date of the report’s analysis, December 26, we can view a mid-window snapshot of enrollment and infer what this window reveals about the ACA and what it means for businesses in 2016.
Currently, this year’s window has been successful in terms of enrollment numbers for both the general population and for younger members of the workforce as well. So far in the window, nearly 11.3 million individuals participated in selecting or reenrolling in a 2016 Marketplace plan, with 3.0 million new consumers. Of enrollees, 35% have been under 35 years of age. With an expected surge in enrollment among millennials nearer to the end of the window, this percentage is likely to rise by the time the window closes on January 30.
This window has also revealed a perspective on the growing active role of Americans in selecting their coverage. Of all re-enrollees, 4.2 million were classified as “active re-enrollees.” Among active re-enrollees, a full 60% changed to a different healthcare plan.
So what do these numbers tell us? The ACA is encouraging individuals to take a more active interest in their healthcare decisions. With the incentives in place against not enrolling, many Americans are more fully evaluating their healthcare decisions for some of the first times, and this teaches individuals that they have the authority to choose plans that are best suited to their needs. This newfound cultural awareness has also been directed at benefits for the past several years, with employees placing an increased importance on having benefits that best fit their needs.
Before its close, this year’s ACA open enrollment window has already revealed the increased national interest in personal involvement in selecting more optimized coverage, especially among millennials, soon to be the largest workplace demographic. With more savvy and demanding employees, businesses in 2016 and beyond will need to improve and optimize their benefits offerings to remain as competitive and attractive in the employee marketplace as possible.
To read the full January enrollment report released by the Department of Health & Human Services, click here.
Since 2003, Apex Benefits has built a reputation on providing customized, calculated solutions that aid our clients in making effective benefits decisions for their employees. We believe that a company is only as good as its employees, which is why our team works with you personally to find employee benefits plans that truly benefit your company. We’ll provide the tools, resources and expertise to aid in benefits decisions, creating a continuous conversation about strengthening your workforce and making your business better.