Nearly 80K Sign Up for Health Plans Through Covered California
During a board meeting on Thursday, Covered California officials announced that nearly 80,000 state residents have enrolled in health coverage through the exchange, Kaiser Health News reports (Gorman/Varney, Kaiser Health News, 11/22).
Details of Enrollment
In November, an average of 2,700 residents enrolled through the exchange each day, compared with 700 daily in October (Thomas/Pollack, New York Times, 11/21).
The health plans with the highest enrollment were:
- Anthem Blue Cross, with 8,658 sign-ups;
- Kaiser Permanente, with 8,250 sign-ups;
- Blue Shield of California, with 7,903 sign-ups; and
- Health Net, with 4,839 sign-ups.
In October, a total of 30,000 individuals enrolled in coverage through Covered California (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 11/21). Of those individuals:
- 56% were over age 45 (Kaiser Health News, 11/22); and
- 23% were between ages 18 and 34 (Easley, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 11/21).
In addition, of those who enrolled in October:
- 30% qualified for federal subsidies;
- 31% were not eligible for subsidies; and
- 39% were possibly eligible for Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program (Covered California release, 11/21).
Spanish is the primary language of only 3% of those who enrolled in October, compared with 29% of the state's population who primarily speak the language (Kaiser Health News, 11/22).
In a statement, Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said, "Enrollment in key demographics like the so-called young invincibles is very encouraging" (New York Times, 11/21).
He also said that the exchange has seen "enrollment in all regions of the state" (Sacramento Business Journal, 11/21).
Lee added that Latino enrollment likely will increase because of the prevalence of Spanish-speaking enrollment counselors and outreach campaigns.
Marian Mulkey, head of health reform research at the California HealthCare Foundation, said the lack of Latino enrollees should be a concern because they are a "pretty big part of the target population" for the exchange.
CHCF publishes California Healthline.
However, Mulkey said, "It's still really the early days. There is a long time before this is all done" (Kaiser Health News, 11/22).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.