Covered California Enrollment Declined in Late February
During the second half of February, about 40,000 California residents enrolled in a health insurance plans through Covered California -- down from about 100,000 who enrolled during the first half of that month, KPCC's "KPCC News" reports.
A total of 868,963 people have enrolled in coverage through the state health insurance exchange (O'Neill, "KPCC News," KPCC, 3/11).
Nationwide, about 940,000 U.S. residents enrolled in health plans through the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchange in February, down from 1.2 million in January and 1.8 million in December, according to HHS data released Tuesday.
Obama administration officials said total exchange enrollment is at 4.2 million (Pear, New York Times, 3/11).
California residents account for about 20% of all individuals who signed up for health coverage through the federal and state exchanges (Verdin, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 3/11).
According to the Times, a memo circulated among federal health officials in September 2013 set targets of having 5.6 million people enrolled by the end of February and seven million people enrolled by the end of March. The memo also set a total enrollment goal for February of 1.3 million people (New York Times, 3/11).
Details of Calif. Enrollment
CMS originally projected slightly more than one million California residents would sign up for coverage in the state by March 1. The state has met just 84% of that goal (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 3/11).
According to "KPCC News," 763,000 residents -- about 88% of Covered California enrollees -- qualified for federal subsidies.
In the second half of February, 26% of enrollees were between ages 18 and 34 -- the same percentage as the first half of February ("KPCC News," KPCC, 3/11).
Covered California officials noted that the decrease in enrollments during the second half of February likely was caused by a five-day outage of the online enrollment portal (Terhune,"Money & Co.," Los Angeles Times, 3/11).
According to "KPCC News," exchange officials expect enrollments to significantly increase this month, as the March 31 deadline to purchase coverage approaches ("KPCC News," KPCC, 3/11).
Covered California spokesperson Dana Howard said, "The interest is still there," and noted that enrollments have "really picked up" in March.
Covered California plans to release more detailed enrollment data on Thursday ("Money & Co.," Los Angeles Times, 3/11).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.