NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Latest ObamaCare Enrollment Report

March 14, 2014

It looks impossible for the Obama administration to meet its insurance sign-up goal, says Peter Suderman, editor at Reason Magazine.

  • Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told NBC News in September that "success" for ObamaCare "would look like at least 7 million people signing up for coverage by the end of March," when open enrollment ends.
  • Unfortunately for Sebelius, only 4.2 million people signed up for health coverage at the end of February, according to the administration, and getting to 7 million looks nearly impossible.

Suderman highlights some of the big takeaways from the latest HHS report:

  • December had the highest number of sign-ups at 1.78 million. To get to its goal, the administration would need a 63 percent increase from that month to March.
  • Additionally, these figures are solely "sign-ups" (that is, people who have just picked a plan online), not actual completed enrollments. The number of people who have actually paid their premiums is much lower. Insurers are reporting that one fifth of individuals who sign up are not paying their first month's premium, and some insurers are seeing further attrition in the second month.
  • Young adults aren't signing up at increasing rates. At the end of December, 24 percent of those signing up were between the ages of 18 and 34. Today, that figure is at 25 percent.
  • Of the 4.2 million sign-ups, 868,936 are from California. The next-highest number of sign-ups come from Florida (442,087), followed by Texas (295,025) and New York (244,618).
  • Eighty-three percent of those who have picked plans qualify for federal subsidies.
  • Fifty-five percent of those signing up are women, indicating that the risk pools will contain people who are usually more expensive to insure.

Whether you're tracking "sign-ups" or actual enrollments, neither of those actually indicates whether the uninsured have insurance under this law because the administration is not tracking that data.

Source: Peter Suderman, "ObamaCare's Enrollment Target Slips Away, and Other Takeaways From Today's Enrollment Report," Reason Magazine, March 11, 2014.


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