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Apr. 18—President Barack Obama said Thursday 8 million people have “signed up” for coverage in the government-run health insurance marketplaces created by his signature healthcare law.
The announcement came two days after the end of an extended enrollment period the administration allowed for the marketplaces’ first open enrollment period.
The enrollment numbers are likely to change, however, because they include people who have not paid their premiums and whose coverage will be cancelled, which have included 10 to 20 percent of applicants in recent studies. For example, California announced Thursday that 15 percent of its 1.4 million enrollees have not paid their premiums.
Additionally, it remains unclear how many of the new signups switched from policies cancelled by the law or were previously uninsured, which Congressional Budget Office projections said the law would reduce this year by 14 million. As few as one-third of new enrollees were previously uninsured, according to one recent survey by the Rand Corporation.
But if close to 8 million sign ups of the uninsured are sustained, then it would mark a major reversal in the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) first enrollment period, which began with widespread technical failures in the fall that that made the projected 7 million enrollments look highly unlikely.
Remaining obstacles to the marketplaces’ success also emerged from Thursday’s figures, which note that the share of young adults needed to maintain insurance risk pool solvency rose to only 28 percent—far short of the 40 percent the administration said was needed.
Possibly bolstering the sustainability of those risk pools is the 5 million additional people who enrolled in individual plans directly from insurers. Insurers are required to consider those enrollees as part of the same risk pools them when setting their 2015 marketplace plan rates, the administration stated.
The administration also noted that 3 million more people were enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as of February than were enrolled before the marketplaces opened. Although those figures include enrollments by people in non-expanding states who qualified under pre-ACA limits, Medicaid and CHIP enrollment will continue throughout the year.
Obama also stepped up his political attacks on Republican legislators and governors in the 24 states that have not approved expansions of their Medicaid programs to the degree authorized by the ACA. Obama attributed their opposition to “no reason other than political spite.” The administration said 5.7 million people would be uninsured in 2016 because of the lack of expansion in those states.
Rich Daly is a senior writer/editor in HFMA’s Washington, D.C., office. Follow Rich on Twitter @rdalyhealthcare.
Publication Date: Friday, April 18, 2014
Brian Kueppers, founder and CEO, Apex, discusses the importance of a robust patient payment strategy in boosting organization revenue and enhancing patient satisfaction.
Brian Grazzini, CFO, HealthPort, describes the importance of efficient and compliant information exchange and audit management in helping HIM staff spend less time on paperwork and more on mission-critical projects.
Cindy Matthews, executive vice president, Community Hospital Corporation, discusses how rural and community hospitals can use collaborative partnering to position for success through tough market conditions.
Rick Heise, senior vice president, revenue cycle, at Cerner Corporation, discusses the importance of integrating clinical and financial data to excel in health care’s changing payment environment.
Dale Hockel, senior vice president of operations, and Jim Fanelli, CFO, TriMedx, share strategies for elevating clinical engineering through innovative management programs.
Russ Graney, founder and CEO for Aidin, and John Laursen, head of business development for Aidin, share insights on how to improve care transitions between acute and post-acute care settings and incentivize high-quality patient outcomes.
Scott Elston, strategic accounts manager, GE Healthcare Services, describes how substantial cost reduction in health care requires rethinking business strategy and asset use.
Robert Williams, MD, director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Arielle Freiberger, product strategist, ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte, explain how sophisticated retrospective, real-time, and predictive data analytics can inform decision making to reduce costs and improve care.
Stuart Hanson, director of business development (healthcare solutions) at Citi Retail Services, discusses how improving the payment experience can benefit consumers and healthcare providers.
Scott Schmidt, vice president, Cerner RevWorks, LLC, shares insights on best practices for maximizing a revenue cycle management partnership.
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