Skip to main content

Advanced Search

Advanced Search

Current Filters

Filter your query

Publication Types



Newsletter Article


Enrollment in Health Law Markets Fell by 1.5 Million in March

By Rebecca Adams, CQ Roll Call

June 2, 2015 -- The number of people enrolled in health plans sold in state and federal insurance markets fell from 11.7 million near the end of February to 10.2 million paid customers at the end of March, according to a new enrollment report released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The drop-off was attributed to some people not paying their premiums or voluntarily dropping coverage. The figure doesn't include individuals who signed up for coverage but plan to pay later, because some insurance companies have provided grace periods.

Last year, more than 8 million people signed up during an enrollment period that ran through a mid-April deadline, and 7.3 million were still enrolled as of Aug. 15. A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services official noted that although the immediate drop-off was more precipitous this year than last year, the overall population of enrolled people is still higher than a goal of 9.1 million people that HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell set for this year.

About 7.3 million people had paid their premiums and were enrolled on March 31 in the 34 states that relied on the federal website to enroll residents. Those individuals—coincidentally, the same total number of people who signed up in all the marketplaces last year—are at risk of losing their subsidies if the Supreme Court rules this month in the King v. Burwell case that subsidies are only allowed in states that created their own health care marketplaces.

Almost three-quarters of the people receiving subsidies nationwide live in the states that might lose the aid. About 6.4 million of the 8.7 million people nationwide live in the 34 states using the federal marketplace. This year, the average tax credit subsidy was $272 per month, similar to the $276 average credit last year.

"The health insurance marketplaces are working," Burwell said. "Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans now rely on the health and financial security that comes from affordable coverage through the marketplaces. We've seen a historic reduction in the uninsured and consumers are finding the coverage they need at a price they can afford."

The administration plans to release enrollment data on a quarterly basis.

Publication Details