More than 528,000 Americans have signed up for Affordable Care Act coverage on the federal exchange in the first six weeks of the special enrollment period President Joe Biden opened for the uninsured.
That’s more than double the number that turned to the exchange, healthcare.gov, in the same period over the past two years, when enrollment was limited to those losing job-based policies and experiencing other major life events, such as divorce, according to data released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Some 209,000 and 171,000 consumers signed up for health insurance in the same period in 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Former President Donald Trump refused to reopen Obamacare enrollment last spring as the coronavirus pandemic swept the nation.
This year’s special enrollment period appears to be attracting more Black and lower-income Americans than in previous years, the agency said.
Among enrollees who identified a race, 17% identified as Black, compared to about 11% during the same period in both 2020 and 2019.
And among consumers requesting financial assistance, 41% have a household income at or just above the federal poverty level, compared to 38% in 2020 and 33% in 2019.
Floridians and Texans flocked to the federal exchange, with more than 146,000 and 98,000 residents signing up, respectively. The states, which have among the highest uninsured rates in the nation, have had the most people selecting policies during this special enrollment period so far.