Obamacare hit a record number of sign-ups: the shots

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Health insurance markets in the Affordable Care Act achieved a record: Almost 16 million people Sign up for insurance, also known as Obamacare.

That’s about a million more people than were enrolled in ACA health insurance last year, and enrollment is still open Healthcare.gov And in most state markets through Sunday, January 15th.

What is driving the upward trend? The main reason is that the plans cheaper people than they were before. The federal government has poured in billions of dollars in recent years Subsidies to keep costs down to consumers. Health officials say 4 out of 5 enrollees qualify for the plans they cost $10 or less per month. And 5 million uninsured people qualify for zero-dollar premium plans, according to Modern analysis From the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Another reason why more people sign up is likely because there is more logistical help. The Affordable Care Act created a program for “Navigators” People trained across the country to help consumers understand their choices and sign up for a health plan. It is a service paid for by government grants.

Trump administration Funding cut for this program. Biden administration support it. Katie Rodgers-Turner is the CEO of Family Foundation for Health Care. Her organization is part of Florida’s Tampa Bay Navigator Project, which went from a team of 16 navigators to 35 navigators this year — more than twice the number of employees.

“We really hit our stride this year,” says Ruders-Turner. “We’ve really been able to spread the need and demand among these navigators.”

Happy Tears Central Florida

Irene Demig has been one of the people her organization has helped in recent weeks. She is 30 years old and her husband, Tyler, lives in Plant City, Florida. At the moment, she describes herself as “very pregnant” — and is due to give birth to her first child in February.

This fall, “My husband got a new job offer and that puts him on a 90-day insurance gap, and our due date was in 60 days,” she explains. They couldn’t afford the insurance they got through his old job—Cobra would have cost them $1,600 a month.

She says she had no idea where to start looking for alternatives. I googled on the way to Healthcare.gov, the Federal Market, used by Florida and 32 other states. (State-based sites It is also accessible via Healthcare.gov). She started answering questions like family size, income, and other details. “Once you clicked the You’re Pregnant button, you’d find all sorts of confusing questions, and I was so busy,” she says.

I clicked A guide to finding stalkers in her area, and found a local community center on the list. “I called and they were like, Well, George comes on Thursday.”

So Demigues went to see navigator Jorge Masson at a local place Social Service Agency. Going in, Irene Demig worried that she wouldn’t be insured when she went into labour.

“We went through the whole process with Jorge. He helped us choose a plan that worked for us. It actually ended up working out better for our insurance division,” she says. “It would end up saving us about $9,000 with the birth and all that. I cried when we found out we were going to save a lot of money.”

Dimmigs’ dealings with health insurance were not completed. After the baby is born, they’ll need to add the baby to their plan, and see if they’ll sign up for the new employer’s plan when her spouse becomes eligible. But she is not worried. “Georgie said he’d help us get through this,” she says.

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