(HealthDay)—Eight million Americans enrolled in private marketplace health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act between Oct. 1, 2013, and March 31, 2014, federal health officials confirmed Thursday.
The enrollment report released Thursday shows that 28 percent of people who selected a marketplace plan were young adults ages 18 to 34. Younger adults' participation in the new health insurance plans is considered crucial because they tend to be healthy and less costly to cover. Their insurance premiums should help to offset the higher costs of medical treatment of older, sicker adults.
The new report also provides the first official breakdown of enrollment by race and ethnicity. Of people who chose to report their race or ethnicity on their application for coverage through the marketplaces, 16.7 percent were African-American and 10.7 were Latino.
The new report comes a day after the release of a Republican analysis indicating that only 67 percent of people who enrolled through the federal HealthCare.gov marketplace had paid their first month's premium. Health officials won't have the number of paid enrollments until later this year, U.S. Health and Human Services spokeswoman Julie Bataille said during an afternoon news conference.