Obamacare Enrollment Gaining Steam
Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the enrollment figures for Obamacare through the end of November. Unsurprisingly, about four times more people enrolled during the month of November as did during October, when HealthCare.gov was largely non-functional. Reports indicate that enrollment has continued to surge over the past two weeks ahead of the December 23 deadline to purchase coverage taking effect January 1, 2014.
Here are the topline numbers to know:
- 110,410 Americans signed up for private coverage through HealthCare.gov just last month.
- 1,900,000 people have made it through the process but have yet to select a plan.
- 803,077 people have been determined to be eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
- 364,682 Americans selected plans through the state-run or federal insurance marketplaces (137,204 through HealthCare.gov and 227,478 in state-run exchanges).
Enrollment for Massachusetts’ Commonwealth Care in 2007:
In other good Obamacare news, a report out today found that the number of women who are receiving birth control at no additional cost — a key Obamacare benefit — has jumped 25 percent since the requirement went into effect last year.
“This data confirms that the Affordable Care Act is already working for millions of women and their families — and we expect that number to keep growing,” said the president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Cecile Richards.
For their part, Republicans continued to attack the law during another predictably one-sided hearing.
Things did not go so well for Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), who botched an attempt to compare HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to North Korea’s totalitarian dictator and then totally freaked out. A Democratic Member admonished Shimkus, who was shouting at Sebelius, to allow her to actually answer his questions. “I do not have to allow her to answer the question!” Shimkus screamed in reply.
(Shimkus was attacking the aforementioned no-cost preventive care benefits under Obamacare, which include birth control and cancer screenings.)
BOTTOM LINE: Obamacare is working and more than a million Americans have gained access to health coverage because of the law, many for the very first time.
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Health Care Supporter,
Health care will be front and center when the Democratic National Convention begins tonight. There will be a short film about the fight for the Affordable Care Act and the important benefits it has delivered to the American people. During the hour starting at 8 p.m. ET, be sure to see the story of how health care reform has transformed the lives of people across the country. Later we’ll hear from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and First Lady Michelle Obama.
We expect the video and these leaders to highlight some of the life-changing accomplishments of Obamacare that will be felt for generations to come:
- People with pre-existing conditions will no longer be blocked from buying affordable health insurance.
- The Medicare prescription drug plan donut hole has begun to close for good.
- Seniors now have a whole range of preventive health benefits with zero out-of-pocket cost.
- Women are entitled to no-cost contraception and preventive benefits.
- Insurance companies must spend 80% of premiums on actual health care or give the difference back to consumers.
- Small businesses that offer health plans to their workers are collecting tax credits.
Health Care for America Now
As you’ve heard, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has adopted recommendations requiring health insurers to cover a number of women’s preventive health care services — including the full range of FDA-approved contraceptives — with no co-pays in all new health insurance plans.
Over 60,000 of you signed our petition in support of making birth control available at no cost to the woman, and your voices were heard! Please help us continue our work on issues that are vital to you — and to all women and their families — by making a donation today! www.nwlc.org
For many years, the National Women’s Law Center has advocated for equity in health insurance coverage, including working to ensure that women have access to affordable contraception and other preventive services. And, with support from friends like you, this week it paid off. But HHS is considering exempting some religious employers from providing contraception, so we still need your help to ensure that all women are guaranteed this vital coverage.
This decision is a major milestone in the effort to improve the health and lives of women and their families, and we applaud HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for taking this huge step forward for fairness and improved health outcomes for women.
Thank you so much for your gift today and for the powerful support you’ve given NWLC in the past. With your help, this week’s good news is a precursor of many victories to come.