Individual insurance market increases 46%

More than 15 million people had medical coverage through the individual health insurance market as of the end of last year, a 46 percent increase from 2013, according to data released April 29 by the Kaiser Family Foundation. 

As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), marketplaces for purchasing insurance were launched in each state in 2014. People who did not have coverage through their employers could purchase insurance through these marketplaces. Many low- and middle-income individuals received tax credits to help them afford coverage.

After examining filings that insurers submitted to state regulators, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that, as of Dec. 31, 2014, 15.5 million people had insurance through the individual (non-employer) market, which included coverage inside and outside of the marketplaces. Based on the authors’ analysis, approximately 43 percent of individual market coverage was purchased through the ACA-based marketplaces in 2014. At the end of 2013, 10.6 million individuals had insurance.

The individual insurance market increased 168 percent in Arkansas, 104 percent in Rhode Island, 93 percent in Maine, 89 percent in New York, 79 percent in Georgia and 77 percent in Florida. Colorado and Massachusetts were the only two states with decreases.

The report’s authors noted that 3.7 million more people signed up for insurance through the marketplaces this year, although they noted some of those individuals will not pay their premiums. However, they expect the individual market this year will be larger than last year.