Today’s Obamacare Enrollment Figures Quick Analysis

The Obama Admin­is­tra­tion this after­noon announced that more than 4.2 mil­lion peo­ple had selected plans sold through health insur­ance exchanges.  The fig­ure includes data on exchange enroll­ment from Octo­ber 1 of last year through March 1.

I’ve posted a com­pre­hen­sive analy­sis of exchange and Med­ic­aid enroll­ment through Feb­ru­ary 1.  Here are some updates on major trends, as of today’s announcement:

  • Monthly enroll­ment fell for the sec­ond straight month.  HHS today announced that 942,800 selected plans dur­ing the month of Feb­ru­ary, down from 1.15 mil­lion in Jan­u­ary and 1.79 mil­lion in
    Decem­ber.  HHS expects enroll­ment to accel­er­ate again this month, given the March 31 end of open sea­son, but enroll­ment so far this year has lagged Decem­ber 2013 levels.
  • The age dis­tri­b­u­tion of those who selected a plan did not improve in Feb­ru­ary.  Peo­ple aged 18–34 con­tinue to com­prise just 25 per­cent of enrollees, while those 45 and older com­prise 53 per­cent.  This makes it likely that even a surge of young, healthy enrollees in March will not cre­ate a favor­able risk pool for insur­ers sell­ing through the exchanges.
  • Most peo­ple who com­pleted the enroll­ment process and were deter­mined eli­gi­ble to select a plan chose not to.  Of 8.75 mil­lion eli­gi­ble to enroll, just over 4.2 mil­lion selected a plan.  That rate is some­what improved over the fig­ures reported last month.
  • 83 per­cent of peo­ple who have selected a plan are receiv­ing sub­si­dized cov­er­age.  Of the 5.25 mil­lion peo­ple who com­pleted the appli­ca­tion process and were deter­mined qual­i­fied for sub­si­dies, 3.47 mil­lion selected a plan, a takeup rate of 66 percent.
  • Peo­ple who don’t qual­ify for sub­si­dies con­tin­ued to shun enroll­ment. Of 3.5 mil­lion peo­ple who were eli­gi­ble to enroll in plans but who did not qual­ify for sub­si­dies, only 690,000 selected a plan, a takeup rate of just under 20 per­cent.  Even with rel­a­tively low pre­mi­ums, few peo­ple appear will­ing to pay full price for exchange-based coverage.
  • The new data do not esti­mate how many of the 4.2 mil­lion who have so far selected a plan have paid their first month’s pre­mium. Those that have not done so remain uninsured.
  • Nor does the gov­ern­ment know how many who selected a plan pre­vi­ously lacked cov­er­age.  A McK­in­sey sur­vey recently found that only 27 per­cent of enrollees were pre­vi­ously unin­sured and, of those, just 53 per­cent had paid their first pre­mium.  Apply­ing those pro­por­tions to the 4.2 mil­lion fig­ure sug­gests that around 600,000 peo­ple are newly insured in plans sold through exchanges.  That fig­ure, of course, is not pre­cise and rep­re­sents an esti­mate based on sur­vey data.

5 thoughts on “Today’s Obamacare Enrollment Figures Quick Analysis

  1. Pingback: Hits and Misses | John Goodman's Health Policy Blog |

  2. Now that the Indi­vid­ual Man­date has been severely hob­bled, most of those who’ve already signed up for insur­ance on the exchanges and paid their Month 1 pre­mi­ums must be feel­ing like total chumps. When the bill for Month 2 comes in, what are the chances they’ll pay it? For many, the prospect of pay­ing all those monthly pre­mi­ums (and the high deductible to boot) for a type of insur­ance they don’t need is surely mad­den­ing, and also mak­ing a severe dent in their pro­jected dis­cre­tionary spend­ing. Besides, those who know the law will also fig­ure that their cov­er­age can’t be dropped due to non-payment for 90 days. WE NEED TO KEEP TRACK OF THIS ATTRITION, lest the Gov’t con­tinue to claim the new drop-outs as still enrolled.

  3. Pingback: Americans Are Unimpressed With ObamaCare | PERSUASION IN INK

  4. Pingback: ObamaCare's Revisionist History | Our Tyrannical Government

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