8.2M use HealthCare.gov to gain coverage: 6 things to know

By Dec. 19, midway through the enrollment season, 8.2 million people used HealthCare.gov to renew or apply for health coverage for 2016, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Here are six things to know about the third open enrollment period so far.

1. Of those purchasing health insurance on the exchange, 71 percent (5.8 million) were renewing coverage and 29 percent (2.4 million) were first-time buyers. These numbers only include the 38 states using HealthCare.gov, so large states with their own programs, such as California and New York, are not included in this count.

2. This year's enrollment total to date includes 2.1 million individuals under age 35 who newly signed up for health coverage. The Associated Press reports this is nearly double the number of young adults who had signed up at this time last year. 

3. Additionally, AP reports 85 percent of customers nationwide who don't have access to employer-based coverage are receiving federal subsidies averaging $271 a month. 

4. The Washington Post reports more than 2 million existing customers had their coverage automatically renewed for the upcoming year. The government reportedly issued guidances to existing customers encouraging them to shop around and consider switching plans to avoid spikes in health plan premiums. The report indicates 2016 premiums on the federal exchange are rising an average of 7.5 percent, which is almost four times higher than a year ago. Individuals who are automatically enrolled can select a different health plan or withdraw from coverage by Jan. 31.

5. The country's uninsured rate currently sits at 9 percent, a historic low, according to the AP. According to this figure, more than 16 million people have gained health coverage in the five years since the ACA was signed into law.

6. HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell predicts 9.1 million people will have coverage purchased from the federal exchanges by the end of 2015. HHS' goal is to have 10 million people signed up by the end of 2016. Open enrollment ends Jan. 31.

More articles on HealthCare.gov:

HealthCare.gov to honor Do Not Track requests
HealthCare.gov snapshot: 4 things to know about the first week of open enrollment
HealthCare.gov website getting a facelift

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