Governor Terry McAuliffe announced recently that nearly 421,900 Virginians have signed up for health insurance through the federal marketplace, exceeding expectations that enrollment would reach 400,000 this year in the Commonwealth.
That number reflects total enrollment through the end of the most recent open enrollment period on January 31. The federal marketplace was created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to provide more Americans with health coverage options.
“I am pleased that hundreds of thousands of Virginians now have access to affordable health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act,” Governor McAuliffe said. “The large number of enrollments is evidence that our citizens recognize the value of high-quality health care and want coverage for themselves and their families. I remain committed to working on solutions that will bring billions of federal dollars back to Virginia to provide medical services for our citizens.”
The McAuliffe administration successfully pursued a $9.3 million grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to pay for more than 100 enrollment assisters, who worked with Virginians to obtain insurance during the recent open enrollment period.
The federal marketplace allows people who do not have health insurance through their employer or are otherwise ineligible for government health programs to purchase coverage and, in most cases, qualify for discounted insurance premiums.
Nationally, about 12.7 million plan selections were made through federal and state health insurance marketplaces through the end of the most recent open enrollment period. That number reflects about four million new signups for 2016.
“Having access to health care coverage is critical as we work toward improving the health of all Virginians,” said Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. Bill Hazel. “Thanks are due especially to the Virginia Community Healthcare Association, which developed a network of assisters across the state, and the Virginia Poverty Law Center, which worked on outreach and education, and also provided dedicated assisters.”