In May 2014, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced that enrollment in health plans through the health insurance Marketplaces had exceeded 8 million people. Estimates suggest that another 5 million people purchased Affordable Care Act (ACA)-compliant plans outside the Marketplace. In addition, it is estimated that total Medicaid and CHIP enrollment increased by an estimated 4.8 million people. Knowledge about the characteristics of these newly insured individuals provides an early assessment of how well the different components of the ACA are working at expanding coverage as of early March. Further, information on the health needs and health care experiences of newly insured individuals is important for understanding their likely health care demands as they gain coverage, along with their potential effect on the risk pools in private and public insurance programs.
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