On April 1, in recognition of the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, local and federal officials announced during a news conference at Mercy Health the new localized enrollment data and provided specific results from the first five years of the ACA.
“The Affordable Care Act has allowed Grand Rapidians the opportunity to access quality health care regardless of income level, pre-existing condition, or job status,” said Mayor George Heartwell. “The law has been a real game changer in the way we responsibly care for the health and wellbeing of all of our residents.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that 33,244 consumers in the Grand Rapids area selected or were automatically enrolled in a plan.
In Michigan, 341,183 consumers selected plans or were automatically re-enrolled in quality, affordable health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace as of Feb. 22, according to HHS. Additionally, nearly nine out of ten Michiganders could select a Marketplace plan for $100 or less per month, and 88 percent of Michigan consumers who were signed up qualified for an average tax credit of $236 per month through the Marketplace.
Nationwide, more than 16.4 million people have gained coverage since the ACA passed- the largest reduction in the uninsured in four decades. Nearly 11.7 million consumers selected a plan or were automatically enrolled in Marketplace coverage. These enrollments contributed to the 7.1 percent drop in the uninsured rate since the ACA was passed five years ago.
“These historic enrollment numbers show that the American people know the ACA is working for them,” said US Dept. of Health and Human Services Region 5 Director Kathleen Falk. “Thanks to the ACA, people can no longer be denied health insurance because of a preexisting condition, healthcare spending is increasing at the lowest rate in 50 years, and people no longer need to worry about being one illness away from bankruptcy.”
“The Affordable Care Act is making healthcare more affordable and more accessible to everybody, and we’re seeing that right here in Kent County,” said State Representative Winnie Brinks. “Specifically, the Healthy Michigan Plan is helping more hard-working but still low-income families afford quality health care that they didn’t have access to before.”
Open enrollment in the Marketplace has ended, but a Special Enrollment Period is now available to consumers who are subject to the fee for not having health care coverage in 2014. If you were unaware of or didn’t understand the implications of the new requirement, you have until April 15 to enroll. Consumers can visit HealthCare.gov to learn more or call the federally-facilitated Marketplace call center at 1-800-318-2596.