Survey of Health Insurance Marketplace Assister Programs
Section 2: How Many Assisters Are There and How Many People Did They Help?
Based on numbers of staff reported by Assister Programs, we estimate all Programs combined employed at least 28,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff and volunteers to provide assistance across the country. In addition, we estimate this cadre of trained Assisters together helped 10.6 million people apply for coverage and financial assistance during the Open Enrollment period from October 1, 2013 through the end of April, 2014. These estimates were derived by extrapolating survey responses (on how many full time equivalent staff worked for Assister Programs and how many people Programs helped) to data on the number of Assister Programs nationwide collected from the Marketplaces.
The estimated number of consumers helped includes those who ultimately enrolled in QHPs as well as those determined eligible for Medicaid and CHIP, both in states that expanded Medicaid coverage and in states that did not. This number also includes individuals who received assistance applying for coverage even if they fell into the “coverage gap” in states not expanding Medicaid – meaning they had income too low to qualify for premium tax credits (which are only available at incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level) and were also not eligible for Medicaid – and others who did not enroll in coverage for other reasons (Appendix Table 1).