The first open enrollment period for health insurance via marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ended on March 31, 2014. These marketplaces, which opened on October 1, 2013, permit individuals to purchase individual health insurance or enroll in Medicaid, regardless of whether they have preexisting conditions, with coverage beginning as early as January 1, 2014. Assistance with insurance premiums is available for those earning between 133 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL).
At the time open enrollment closed, over eight million individuals had obtained private health coverage through the marketplaces. Individuals may still purchase health insurance through the marketplaces if they have recently experienced a qualifying life event, such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child or significant change in income.
Information is not available concerning the number of people with disabilities who obtained insurance through the health insurance marketplaces. Prior to introduction of the health insurance exchanges, workers with disabilities who did not receive health insurance through their employers and were not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare were likely to be uninsured, as insurance plans on the individual market tended to screen out individuals with disabilities or significant preexisting health conditions. A summary of Marketplace enrollment numbers is available through the White House web site.1 Look for ACA information in relation to its continued impacts on people with disabilities in future LEAD Center Employment, Health Care and Disability policy updates. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/17/fact-sheet-affordable-care-act-numbers