250K Selected Private Plans via Federal, State Exchanges in November
About 250,000 U.S. residents selected a health plan through the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges in November, according to data released by HHS' Office of Health Reform, the Los Angeles Times' "Politics Now" reports. The total number of U.S. residents who have selected coverage since the exchanges opened for enrollment on Oct. 1 is now about 365,000 (Levey, "Politics Now," Los Angeles Times, 12/11).
To calculate the figure, HHS used both state and federal exchange data for private coverage from Nov. 2 to Nov. 30. The federal estimate includes people who have submitted a payment for their coverage, as well as those who have selected a plan but have not yet paid for it (Kennedy, USA Today, 12/11).
Overall, the November enrollment figure was more than twice as high as the number of consumers who selected health plans in October ("Politics Now," Los Angeles Times, 12/11). However, the number is still well below what officials had forecast for this time. In May, the Congressional Budget Office estimated seven million people would sign up for coverage during the initial six-month open enrollment period (California Healthline, 11/14).
According to the figures, the majority of enrollees signed up for coverage through state-run exchanges (USA Today, 12/11). However, more than 110,000 consumers chose a health plan from HealthCare.gov, more than four times higher than in October ("Politics Now," Los Angeles Times, 12/11).
Overall, 1.9 million consumers have completed applications for coverage through the state and federal online marketplaces; however, not all account creators had selected a plan.
The data also show that 803,077 U.S. residents applying for coverage through the exchanges were determined to be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP (HHS release, 12/11).
Administration Officials Discuss Numbers
During a conference call, CMS spokesperson Julie Bataille told reporters that the agency "expect[s] the numbers to grow over time, especially with the technical improvements that have been made to the website (Fox, NBC News, 12/11).
Bataille also called HealthCare.gov "night and day from where it was on [Oct. 1]" (USA Today, 12/11).
In addition, an anonymous source familiar with the data said about 29,000 individuals signed up for coverage during the first two days of December. HHS has not yet released enrollment numbers for December (NBC News, 12/11).
Meanwhile, enrollment in the state-based exchanges varied. The data show that:
- California has enrolled 107,087 individuals in private coverage since Oct. 1;
- Colorado has enrolled 9,980 individuals in private insurance plans since Oct. 1 and 64,290 residents have been deemed eligible for Medicaid;
- Connecticut enrolled 14,365 residents in private coverage by Dec. 4 and 12,635 have been determined Medicaid- or CHIP-eligible;
- Hawaii has enrolled 574 residents in private coverage since the exchange opened;
- Kentucky enrolled 15,518 residents in private coverage by Dec. 5 and 56,437 have been deemed eligible for Medicaid;
- New York enrolled 100,881 residents in private coverage as of Dec. 9; and
- Oregon has enrolled 730 residents in private plans as of Dec. 11 and 9,219 have been determined eligible for Medicaid (USA Today, 12/11).