One-third of the 1.2 million people who have signed up for ACA plans since February 15 are paying $10 or less per month in premiums, according to new HHS data released Monday.
That's a result of the COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress earlier this year that lowered the amount Americans have to pay toward their ACA premiums and extended the subsidies to middle-income earners.
Those changes took effect April 1.
The average monthly premium for consumers who are new to the marketplace was $87 per month in April and May, a 26% drop from before the subsidy changes took effect.
Consumers' average deductibles also dropped as plans with less cost-sharing requirements became more affordable, according to HHS.
The median deductible for consumers new to the marketplace fell by 83% to $75 after April 1.
More than 2.3 million current enrollees have returned to the marketplace to lower their monthly premiums by 40%, according to HHS.
"This is all part of the Biden-Harris administration's commitment to ensuring everyone who needs access to coverage has access to affordable, quality health coverage," CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said on a call with reporters Monday morning.
HHS launched a special enrollment period due to COVID-19 from February 15 to August 15, and has increased marketing and outreach to let consumers know about it, funding navigators who help people sign up for insurance and advertisements.
That's a change from the previous administration, which significantly cut funding for marketing and outreach, arguing that people already knew about the healthcare law.
"When you go AWOL, when you go missing for several years and don't try to market to people, you'll have a really unsuccessful business," HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said.
The Biden administration has started collecting and releasing data about the race, ethnicity and genders of new customers as it tries to make access to healthcare more equitable. Still, more than half of the data for race and 39% for ethnicity is unknown.
Brooks-LaSure said the goal is to get people approved for coverage quickly but CMS is working to make it easier in the application process to get that data without slowing down the application process.
Race and ethnicity data are particularly important to know whether HHS is reaching populations that are disproportionately more likely to be uninsured. Black and Latino uninsured rates increased during the Trump administration as it cut funding and outreach to groups that help those populations sign up for insurance and discouraged immigrants from signing up for ACA plans, Medicaid and CHIP.
Advocates and experts are particularly concerned about the increasing rate of Latino children who were uninsured during the Trump administration.
Becerra said he will travel this week to pitch the ACA to Latino communities.
"We are trying to do whatever we can, and I'll do it in Spanish as well," Becerra said. "We'll go to where they are so they can get these messages because too often they've been left out."