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New Analysis Provides Early Look At Increase in Individual Market Enrollees 

A new Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of health insurer reports to state regulators provides a first glimpse of enrollment in the individual, or non-group, insurance market under the Affordable Care Act.  These initial filings reflect enrollment both through the new state insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act as well as through off-exchange plans.

The analysis suggests a net increase from the end of 2013 of about 3 million to 3.5 million people with coverage that began by the end of March, bringing the total number of people in the individual market to approximately 15 million. This estimate only reflects a portion of the increase that occurred during the Affordable Care Act’s initial open enrollment period and does not include the late March surge in enrollment, as many new enrollees started their coverage after the period covered in these initial filings.

Assuming the off-exchange market experienced a surge similar to the state marketplaces, the analysis suggests the net increase in individual market enrollment could ultimately be twice as large, once the next round of data becomes available. This first look at the direction of enrollment suggests that, even accounting for people leaving the market, the number of people purchasing their own health coverage grew substantially and likely continued to grow toward the end of the enrollment period. The analysis suggests that once the late March surge in enrollment is recorded in insurer filings, the number of people in the individual market should be significantly higher than the 11 to 12 million people enrolled in 2013.

The analysis examines enrollment for insurers with comparable data from last year and the first quarter this year, as well as new entrants into the market this year.  Some sizeable insurers have not yet filed their 2014 data, largely because they have different filing requirements or deadlines, making it impossible to directly compare total enrollment from the two periods.

Authored by Foundation researchers, Individual Market Enrollment Ticks Up in Early 2014 is based on filings submitted to insurance regulators and compiled by Mark Farrah Associates.