Biden-Harris Administration’s Expanded Premium Tax Credits from the Inflation Reduction Act Will Lock in Cost Savings and Protect Access to Affordable Coverage for Underserved Populations
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a new report showing significant gains in health insurance coverage during the 2021 and 2022 HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment periods among populations with historically higher uninsured rates such as Black and Latino consumers. After substantially increasing Affordable Care Act Marketplace outreach and education, and with the American Rescue Plan’s enhanced and expanded premium tax credits, Black consumers saw a 49 percent increase in enrollment from 2020, Latino consumers saw a 53 percent increase in enrollment from 2020, and American Indian and Alaska Native consumers saw a 32 percent enrollment increase from 2020. Released just ahead of Open Enrollment for 2023, which begins November 1, the report illustrates the success of the Biden-Harris Administration’s increased outreach efforts and the positive impact of the premium support that will remain in effect thanks to President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.
“Access to high-quality, affordable health care is top priority of the Biden-Harris Administration, and the Affordable Care Act is central in our efforts to increase access for America’s families,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “This report shows that our efforts are working, including among Black, Latino, and American Indian and Alaska Native consumers. The uninsured rate is at a record low in the country, but we know we have more to do to close gaps in coverage and increase equity. That’s why HHS is focused on building on these coverage gains during this next Open Enrollment Season starting on November 1. I encourage anyone and everyone to check out their plan options on HealthCare.gov – thanks to the President’s Inflation Reduction Act, four out of five consumers will be able to find high-quality coverage for less than ten dollars a month.”
In 2021 and 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) substantially increased funding for Marketplace outreach and education, and the American Rescue Plan offered enhanced and expanded premium tax credits to encourage enrollment. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 extends the enhanced Marketplace subsidies through 2025, and HHS will continue its efforts to support outreach to improve coverage rates across all populations. Starting on November 1, people can fill out an application at HealthCare.gov and enroll in a Marketplace health plan for coverage in 2023.
Today’s report was published by HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), which used validated techniques to analyze race and ethnicity for HealthCare.gov enrollees, including for the more than 30 percent of enrollees who did not report race and ethnicity information in 2022. Lack of information on race and ethnicity in administrative data is a barrier to measuring progress in improving equitable coverage rates, and this report attempts to fill in those gaps.
Ensuring that quality health care is accessible and affordable for all Americans is at the heart of HHS’s mission. An important part of achieving that goal is overcoming health disparities and advancing equity in the delivery of health and human services, which is the focus of the Department’s Equity Action Plan as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s push to advance equity across the federal government.
To read the entire ASPE report on HealthCare.gov enrollment by race and ethnicity from 2015 to 2022, click here.