The LA Times is reporting this week that despite the recent hurdles with the healthcare roll out, enrollment is surging in many states as tens of thousands of consumers sign up for insurance plans made available in the new Health Care Marketplaces.
For example, California reported enrolling 31,000 people in October and has nearly doubled that already in the first two weeks of November. At this pace California is on track to hit enrollment targets for 2014 according to state officials.
A few other states, such as Connecticut, Kentucky, and Washington state are outpacing their enrollment estimates, even as states that depend on the federal website lag far behind.
Overall, 106,000 people enrolled in health coverage across the US in October and nearly half of those who enrolled were in California or New York. Both states have continued to show growth in their numbers. In New York, enrollment has continued at roughly October’s rate and stands at 24,509, according to state officials.
The Obama administration aims to get 7 million consumers into health insurance plans in 2014 to ensure that the marketplaces have enough people to be sustainable.
Enrollment has been even stronger in many Medicaid programs where close to 400,000 new people qualified for Medicaid coverage last month, according to federal data. In Oregon, whose marketplace has been one of the few trouble-plagued state sites, the state reported that it had already signed up 70,000 new people for Medicaid. About half the states have agreed to expand their Medicaid programs to most low-income residents in 2014. Under the law, the federal government picks up nearly the entire cost of that expansion for the first several years.
Many state and federal experts expect the biggest enrollment volume to occur after Thanksgiving where consumers will only then have a couple weeks to sign up before the first deadline of Dec. 15 takes place for coverage starting January 1. In order to avoid the tax penalty, however, consumers have until March 31 to find a new plan.