Five Facts about Obamacare Enrollment

On Monday the administration released the latest numbers on Obamacare exchange enrollments. Here are five key facts you need to know:

  1. Young Adults are Underrepresented: Young adults (age 18-34) represent 40 percent of the uninsured, according to census estimates. But they only represent 24 percent of those enrolled in the marketplace, despite a government marketing campaign targeting that demographic. In contrast, older adults age 55-64, represent only 11 percent of the uninsured, but 35 percent of Marketplace enrollees.
  2. Obamacare Plans are too Expensive with Taxpayer Subsidy: In Pennsylvania, 76 percent of enrollees that selected a plan were eligible for premium subsidies. Nationwide, 79 percent of exchange enrollees qualified for taxpayer subsidy. That’s a good indicator that Obamacare exchange plans are far from “affordable.”
  3. Despite a December Surge, Enrollment is Behind Expectations: The CBO estimated exchanges needed to sign up 3.3 million people by the end of 2013, but only 2.1 million have selected a plan. Remember, “selecting a plan” doesn’t mean they actually purchased insurance We don’t know how many people have actually paid their first premiums, but some insurers admitted, “it’s been [like] pulling teeth.”
  4. Signing Up is Still a Headache: Janet Bernheisel from York purchased a Highmark plan on December 19th, but Highmark hasn’t been able to accept her payment. Janet isn’t alone, Jeanne Patterson from Drexel Hill couldn’t use her new Independence Blue Cross policy when she went to the ER with stomach pains on New Years day.
  5. Insurance Plan Cancellations Overwhelm New Enrollments: An estimated 250,000 Pennsylvanians received cancellations letters thanks to Obamacare, while only 81,320 have selected (not purchased) a plan through the exchange.

Along with glitches in exchange plans, at least 25,000 Pennsylvania Medicaid applicants are facing enrollment problems.