Obamacare Enrollment Hits 3.3 Million (but not really)
by John Sexton 12 Feb 2014
HHS announced Wednesday that a cumulative total of 3.3 million people have now signed up for private insurance through the Obamacare exchanges but that figure includes hundreds of thousands of individuals who have failed to make their first premium payment.
Three weeks ago Breitbart News looked at a mid-January announcement by HHS that enrollment had surpassed 3 million and estimated what that meant for the entire month:
Since December 28th enrollment is up about 850,000. If we assume the three million milestone happened mid-week then the total at the end of January should be in the neighborhood of 1.1 million.
The actual January enrollment announced today was 1,146,000.
The administration continues to say it cannot estimate how many people who have selected plans have actually paid a first month's premium since the payment system has not been built. Experts and journalists who have spoken to insurers say the total percentage who have not paid is around 20 percent. This means it's possible HHS is now double counting some people who were dropped after failing to meet a mid-January deadline but are now applying again.
HHS also highlighted the fact that the percentage of young people 18-34 enrolling was 27 percent in January compared to just 24 percent in October through December. That's an improvement obviously but it's not nearly enough to bring Obamacare to the overall 38 percent level that was anticipated prior to launch. Once the new figures are averaged in with the rest, we can see how little difference they make. The cumulative percentage of young people for all four months of enrollment now stands at 25 percent, an increase of just one percent from where it stood at the end of December.
The graph at the top of this post (produced by the American Action Forum) shows how Obamacare enrollment (the gold line) is going compared to HHS' goal (the green line) and Medicare part D (the red line). As you can see, overall enrollment is more than a million short of expectations (and that's including hundreds of thousands of people who are not actually enrolled). It's going to take a huge surge in March like the one we saw in December for the program to meet its reduced CBO estimate of 6 million.