Update: HealthSherpa network enrolls 1 out of 3 HC.gov enrollees

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DISCLAIMER: HealthSherpa is one of the Enhanced Direct Enrollment (EDE) ACA brokers which run banner ads on my site. EDEs are basically authorized private, 3rd-party versions of ACA exchange sites which have their back ends integrated directly into the federal exchange (HealthCare.Gov) (W3LL and Stride Health are the other EDEs which advertise here).

Having said that, I believe Sherpa is the largest ACA EDE out there, and they're pretty transparent about their enrollment metrics, so until CMS posts their latest official Weekly Snapshot Enrollment Report (which should happen soon), Sherpa's updates are pretty good indicators of how things are going overall.

It's important to remember to that Sherpa is currently only equipped to enroll people in the 33 federal exchange states (i.e., those utilizing HealthCare.Gov).

After the December 15th deadline for coverage starting January 1st, Sherpa reported that 2,759,417 people had selected Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) utilizing their platform...either the main website itself or other EDE sites which utilize their technology.

Then, on January 10th, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported that the total number of QHP selections via HealthCare.Gov (which includes all Sherpa and other EDE enrollments) was 9,724,251 as of December 15th.

That means Sherpa & their partners enrolled around 28.4% of all HealthCare.Gov 2022 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) enrollees through 12/15/22, which also translated into 20.0% of all enrollees nationwide (including the 18 state-based ACA exchanges).

What about since the preliminary 12/15 deadline, though?

Well, CMS hasn't issued an updated official report yet (they gave a very loose update a week ago which simply put total HC.gov enrollment as of January 12th at "over 10 million"), but today Sherpa posted their final official 2022 OEP report, and it's pretty jaw-dropping:

The Open Enrollment period for Plan Year 2022 is over, and HealthSherpa has helped more than 3 million people find coverage through the ACA Marketplaces – our strongest Open Enrollment to date.

Notably, more than 500,000 people took advantage of the OEP extension and enrolled for coverage that will start on February 1st, 2022. Most enrollees were able to find quality, comprehensive coverage for $21/month or less, a testament to how the American Rescue Plan subsidy expansions have improved affordability on the ACA Marketplaces. (For OE2021, HealthSherpa’s median net premium was $54.)

Read on for more detailed insights into the 2022 Open Enrollment Period so far.

Key Enrollment Metrics, 11/1/2021 – 1/15/2022

HealthSherpa Volume

  • HealthSherpa policies: 2,265,719
  • HealthSherpa lives: 3,345,150
  • Top States: FL, TX, GA, NC, SC

There's some additional demographic breakout data below which is of interest, but this number, combined with the previous report, gives an idea of what CMS's total enrollment report will look like.

Sherpa reported 585,733 additional enrollees between 12/16/21 - 1/15/22, or a 21.2% increase over their 12/15 total.

Assuming a similar spike in overall HC.gov enrollment, that would mean nearly 11.8 million enrollees...except that CMS's 9.72M figure also includes several million auto-renewals which are handled differently.

If you look at pre-12/15 numbers, Sherpa reported 1,744,021 QHPs through 12/04/21 vs. 3,946,945 via HCgov, which was an astonishing 44.2% of the total at that point (which is itself pretty eye-opening).

Assuming the 585,733 enrollees Sherpa added after 12/15 comprise a similar 44.2% of all HC.gov enrollments since then (none of which are auto-renewals), that would put total post-12/15 HC.gov enrollment at around 1.325 million more enrollees from 12/16/21 - 1/15/22!

Add those to the 9.725 million HC.gov enrollees prior to that and you'd be at a cool 11.0 million enrollees on the federal exchange through the final January 15th deadline (CMS's last mini-update confirmed that it was over 10.0 million as of January 12th, anyway...that would mean perhaps ~300K enrolling per day for the final 3 days, which is easily doable...back in 2016, HC.gov was able to enroll a whopping 670,000 people in a single 24-hour period).

If you then tack on the minimum 4.2 million enrollees via the 18 state-based exchanges (these will likely end up totaling more like ~4.4 million by the end of January) and that's potentially 15.3 - 15.4 million QHP selections nationally for the 2022 Open Enrollment Period...plus another 1.0 million Basic Health Plan enrollees, for a grand total of up to ~16.4 million total!

This would be absolutely amazing and is absolutely feasible...but we won't know until CMS issues their next snapshot report.

In any event, that scenario would also mean Sherpa enrolled ~30% of all HC.gov enrollees this OEP (!) and around 22% of ALL 2022 OEP enrollees nationally.

In fact, any number below 11.0 million for the federal exchange would increase Sherpa's percent of the total even more. Put another way, if total HC.gov enrollment ends up being around 10.3 million when the dust settles, that will mean that Sherpa enrolled 100% of the post-12/15 bunch, which is obviously pretty unlikely to be the case.

Costs & subsidies

  • Percentage claiming a subsidy: 96%
  • Median Gross Premium: $733.10
  • Median Net Premium: $20.93
  • Median Subsidy: $639.00
  • Percent enrolled in $0 plans: 30%
  • Receiving CSR: 63% overall


  • Average Applicants Per Policy: 1.48
  • Sex of primary applicant: 54% female, 46% male
  • Median age: 48
  • Primary applicant age distribution:
    • 2% under 21
    • 15% 21-29
    • 18% 30-39
    • 21% 40-49
    • 27% 50-59
    • 19% 60+

UPDATE 1/28/22: Well, it looks like I got out ahead of my skis a bit. The semi-final 2022 OEP total was announced by CMS yesterday, and it came to just shy of 14.5 million nationally...including 10,255,636 people signing up in the 33 states hosted on the federal ACA exchange, HealthCare.Gov.

While that's far short of the lofty 11 million figure I spitballed a couple weeks ago, it's still a whopping 27.1% increase year over year (made even more impressive by the fact that 3 small states split off of the federal exchange onto their own state-based platforms).

Having said that, this also means that Health Sherpa, along with whatever other partner sites are utilizing their server back end, ended up enrolling a full 32.6% of all HC.gov enrollees during this Open Enrollment Period.

I should also note that while I have no idea how many ACA enrollees were enrolled via other EDEs (such as W3LL or StrideHealth, who also advertise on my site), my guess is that it's probably something like 40% or more of all HC.gov enrollees combined...possibly even 50%?