Happy 12th Birthday #ACA: CMS releases final 2022 OEP report (part 6)
As noted yesterday, it's the12th Anniversary of President Obama signing the ACA into law. To mark the occasion, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the final, official 2022 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) report, which I've broken into multiple entries.
In this entry, I'm looking at enrollment from the angle of various demographic factors, including Age, Gender, Race/Ethnicity and Rural status.
There's a ton of data in the big table below (click the image for a high-res version), so I've also included percentage summaries at the bottom:
Age: The so-called "Young Invincibles" crowd is considered critical for keeping premiums from growing out of control, since younger enrollees tend to be considerably healthier on average than older enrollees. This year, 34.6% of all ACA exchange enrollees are under 35. This is up a bit form the 33.9% under 35 during the 2021 Open Enrollment Period.
Interestingly, around 1.6% of the total (~235,000 people) are over 65, the same as last year. While most 65+ Americans enroll in Medicare, I'm guessing this population mostly consists of legally-residing immigrants who haven't been residents of the U.S. for at least 5 years.
Gender: Around 54% of ACA exchange enrollees are female, a bit higher than the 51% national average.
Race/Ethnicity: While these statistics are important in terms of comparing racial representation against prior years, I'm not sure how useful they are compared against the enrollment population as a whole given that a full third of enrollees didn't provide racial info, and a huge chunk of ethnicity data is missing from the state-based exchanges anyway.
Rural Status: According to CMS, only 18% of HealthCare.Gov enrollees live in rural areas. However, it's important to keep in mind that the this doesn't necessarily mean that the other 82% all live in cities--the only categories are "rural" and "non-rural," which could include cities, suburbs, exurbs and so on.