The Kaiser Foundation has conducted a new analysis of the uninsured and found that about half of the 32.3 million Americans without health insurance are eligible for government assistance through premium tax credits, Medicaid, or CHIP.
We’ve known for years that a lot of people who are eligible for free coverage under Medicaid have not signed up. The Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid eligibility in a number of states and has focused on getting these folks enrolled, but there’s still a lot of work to do.
What may be surprising to some brokers is that a significant portion of the uninsured are eligible for a government subsidy—22 percent, in fact. Doing the math, that adds up to about 7.1 million uninsured people who earn less than 400% of the federal poverty level, are ineligible for affordable job-based coverage, and qualify for a premium tax credit. What great news as we head into this year’s open enrollment period!
Several local news outlets reported on the Kaiser Family Foundation’s analysis, adding their own figures to the story. The Dallas Morning News, for instance, says that more than 1.5 million uninsured Texans are eligible for subsidized coverage. And the Tampa Bay Times reports that about “825,000 uninsured Floridians will be eligible for tax credits to help cover the cost of health insurance when the third annual Obamacare enrollment period begins Nov. 1.”
Brokers who don’t see this opportunity clearly aren’t looking hard enough. We’re entering the third open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act. The individual mandate penalty is going up, most people now know about the subsidies, and there’s no chance of repeal anytime soon. For all of those reasons, this should be a big enrollment season, and this news about the number of qualified prospects should have you seeing dollar signs.
If you truly want to maximize your opportunity during this year’s open enrollment period, the key is to find a way to maximize your time. A private exchange site will help. With a private exchange, you can focus on generating leads, dozens or even hundreds at a time. People can shop for coverage on your private exchange site and consult with a licensed agent to complete the enrollment process. Instead of spending your time consulting with clients one-on-one, you can focus on the big picture. That’s the secret to success in the individual market.