Obamacare Enrollment Better In State Exchanges Than HealthCare.Gov
Only 106,185 individuals nationwide have enrolled in a health insurance plan through the marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act, and the bulk of those enrolling have done so through one of the state exchanges.
That means that just 26,794 people selected a plan through the federal enrollment website, which serves 36 states.
Connecticut is one of the states that developed its own exchange and, according to numbers released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday, 12,337 applications representing 18,815 individuals were completed between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2. An estimated 12,325 of those applications were for enrollment in a private health insurance plan and about 6,807 will be receiving subsidies. About 6,490 were accepted into Medicaid.
According to Access Health CT, Connecticut’s exchange, 9,498 people had enrolled in the exchange as of Nov. 5. Of those, 5,312 were in private insurance plans and 4,186 were enrolled in Medicaid.
The discrepancy is likely related to the definition of enrollment, Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan said Thursday. He said Connecticut has adopted a strict definition of enrollment and the federal government seems to use a less strict interpretation. He said Connecticut’s definition of an enrolled person includes someone going all the way through the application process and triggering an 834 form, which is shared with the insurance carrier. The carriers use the form to enroll the person or family in their eligibility system.
Access Health CT is expected to release more enrollment numbers Friday.
Connecticut has been a bright spot in that more individuals are enrolling in private insurance plans than in Medicaid.
Under Obamacare, Medicaid will be expanded Jan. 1 to cover people making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Currently, people in Medicaid can’t make more than 55 percent of the federal poverty level and the state only receives 50 percent reimbursement from the federal government to help pay for each of those individuals.
On Jan. 1, the federal government will begin to cover 100 percent of the cost of Medicaid enrollees in Connecticut. There are 25 states that have opted out of Medicaid expansion.