2015 Federal Exchange Summary

The infographic below summarizes statistics from the Department of Health and Human Resources regarding enrollment on the Federal health insurance exchange for 2015.

2015 Federal Exchange Enrollment Infographic

Over two-thirds of the 8.8 million consumers (69%) chose a Silver plan, but given that 87% of the Federal exchange enrollees are receiving a subsidy, the proportion of Silver plans should be even higher.

For those not choosing a Silver plan, Bronze is the metal tier of choice.  The Bronze plans should minimize monthly premium (with or without Federal subsidies), but out-of-pocket costs will be significantly higher if medical services other than preventive care are received during the year.  This is particularly true for anyone who chooses a Bronze plan when eligible for one of the cost sharing Silver plan designs (note: cost sharing plans reduce out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles and copayments for consumers with incomes below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level).

Just over half of those who enrolled on the Federal exchange did so for the first time in 2015 (or during the opening enrollment period at the end of 2014 – for 2015 coverage).  Among the 47% who re-enrolled on the exchange for 2015, slightly more than half actively selected their 2015 plan (even if it ended up being the same plan they had in 2014) while the remaining consumers auto-enrolled in their previous plan for 2015.

The age distribution of Federal exchange purchasers relative to the US population (those under age 65), is heavily skewed towards older consumers.  Only 8% of enrollees are under 18 years of age compared to 27% of the US population.  Almost 50% of Federal exchange enrollees are between 45 and 64 years of age while only 31% of the US population falls within this age range.

Some additional factors not shown on the infographic are:

  • Only 2% of all 2015 Federal exchange purchasers have incomes over 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) compared to 43% who have incomes below 150% FPL.
  • 65% of enrollees are White, compared to 14% Black / African American, 11% Latino and 8% Asian.  Despite special plan designs for native Americans, very few have enrolled via the Federal exchange.

 

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