Tremendous Progress Towards Covering the Uninsured and Lowering the Cost of Coverage

By Zachary Baron

With only two weeks left before the February 15 deadline and the end of the second open enrollment period (OE2), we know that the enrollment community is very busy connecting consumers to coverage, and may not have time to take a long break to reflect in-depth about how much progress we are making. But with this week’s news that more than 9.5 million consumers selected a plan or were automatically renewed since OE2 began, it’s exciting to keep building on these achievements to ensure more consumers #GetCovered and #StayCovered!

And in case you missed it earlier this week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which conducts non-partisan analysis for Congress, released a report with some jaw-dropping numbers showing how much of an impact these initial enrollment efforts are already having and how they are fundamentally shifting the entire health care landscape.

CBO analysis confirmed the general trends we’ve seen from our uninsured model and found that thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), about 12 million fewer non-elderly people were uninsured in 2014 than otherwise would have been. These gains would not have been possible without the amazing commitment by so many organizations to outreach and enrollment efforts. Using the same methodology, 19 million fewer people are projected to be uninsured as a result of the ACA in 2015. These projections can only become a reality through doubling down on outreach and enrollment best practices, so it’s important to move full steam ahead!

And the news gets even better in terms of CBO’s estimates of the future cost of expanding coverage through the marketplaces and Medicaid. Thanks in part to lower than anticipated marketplace premiums, CBO now projects that the expansion of coverage under the ACA in the years 2015 through 2019 will cost the federal government 20 percent less than originally estimated back in 2010.

We know that consumers are already benefitting this year from modest premium variations and increased competition and choice in the marketplace, with a 25 percent jump in the number of issuers offering coverage in 2015 as compared to 2014. Millions of enrollees are already benefitting from their affordable coverage options, and CBO’s new report confirms that the initial accomplishments will turn to even broader successes in the future with more hard work.

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