Covered Calif. Sign-Ups Reach 1.4M at End of Open Enrollment
On Thursday, Covered California officials announced that nearly 1.4 million state residents signed up for private health coverage during the exchange's first open enrollment period, which ended Tuesday, the AP/San Jose Mercury News reports.
The total exceeded projections for state enrollment by about 570,000.
National Enrollment Data
Nationally, about eight million consumers obtained health coverage through the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchanges -- about one million more than predicted, according to the AP/Mercury News (Seipel, AP/San Jose Mercury News, 4/17).
California residents make up 12% of the U.S. population, but the state accounted for 17.5% of all insurance exchange enrollments nationwide (Aliferis, "State of Health," KQED, 4/17).
Calif. Enrollment Surged During Grace Period
Last month, Covered California officials said the exchange would allow potential enrollees to finish their applications by April 15 -- provided that they had started the application by midnight on March 31 (California Healthline, 4/15).
From April 1 to April 15, nearly 206,000 consumers completed their exchange enrollment. More than 50,000 consumers enrolled on April 15 alone, a record for any single day during open enrollment.
Details of Calif. Enrollment
Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said the exchange "surpassed base projections in every ethnic group and demographic in the state." About 29% of enrollees were between the ages of 18 and 34, while about 48% were between the ages of 45 and 64.
In addition, of the exchange enrollees:
- 35% were Caucasian;
- 28% were Latino;
- 21% were Asian (Robertson , Sacramento Business Journal, 4/17); and
- 3% were black or African-American.
For more information on Latino exchange enrollment, see today's Capitol Desk post.
Meanwhile, about 88% of enrollees qualified for federal subsidies (Covered California release, 4/17).
To sign up for coverage through Covered California:
- 41% of enrollees used the exchange website;
- 39% enrolled through a certified insurance agent;
- 9% enrolled through a certified enrollment counselor; and
- 9% enrolled through a call center representative ("State of Health," KQED, 4/17).
Among insurers participating in the exchange:
- Anthem Blue Cross gained more than 425,000 new members, accounting for 30% of enrollees in private plans;
- Blue Shield of California gained more than 381,000 new members, accounting for 27% of enrollees in private plans;
- Health Net gained more than 264,000 new members, accounting for 19% of enrollees in private plans; and
- Kaiser Permanente gained more than 241,000 new members, accounting for 17% of enrollees in private plans (Robertson , Sacramento Business Journal, 4/17).
Meanwhile, an additional 1.9 million California residents signed up for Medi-Cal coverage during the same period. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
In addition, officials said several thousand other individuals are "likely eligible" for the program but still are waiting to see whether they officially qualify ("State of Health," KQED, 4/17).
A California Department of Health Care Services spokesperson said most of the new Medi-Cal enrollees qualified for the program under expanded eligibility through the Affordable Care Act (Wolfson, Orange County Register, 4/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.