An important element of the Affordable Care Act is the availability of premium subsidies that help low and middle income Americans afford health insurance. The subsidies are available to people up to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. The vast majority of people signing up for health plans in their state or the federal marketplace are getting this kind of assistance: nationwide, 83% of those enrolled as of the end of February had qualified for subsidies.
Kaiser Family Foundation recently released a state-by-state analysis that looks at how many of those eligible for financial assistance statewide are enrolling, as well as the amount of subsidies they are receiving. You can read the full brief here. The national figures are impressive. Since October 1, 3.5 million people have qualified for subsidies in the amount of $10 million (this is out of the 4.2 million who enrolled by the end of February). This number could grow substantially, as an estimated 21% of those eligible for premium assistance have actually applied for it.
How do these numbers shake out in New York State?
Kaiser’s analysis covers through the end of February, at which point New York had enrolled 245,000 people in private insurance plans, also called Qualified Health Plans (QHPs). In terms of sheer volume of enrollees, we are ranked fourth in the nation at 245,000 enrolled, behind California, Florida, and Texas. This also puts us in the top 4 for total premium subsidies received by enrollees in our State, which was over $466 million as of the analysis.
We sit just above the national average of 21% when it comes to the proportion of eligible individuals who have enrolled with subsidies. At 23% of eligible individuals enrolled, we also manage to make the top ten states:
Clearly, there are still hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who can benefit from the affordable health care options now available through our state marketplace. Indeed, thousands more will have benefited by the end of open enrollment. New York’s enrollment numbers jumped by over 200,000 during the first few weeks of March alone.