More than one million Americans signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act during the first three weeks of December, including 500,000 through the federal exchange, President Barack Obama announced Friday.
The Obama administration says nearly 3.9 million people have qualified for coverage through the health care law’s Medicaid expansion.
The numbers released Friday cover the period from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30 and underscore a pattern of Medicaid outpacing the law’s expansion of private insurance.
The Medicaid number will grow substantially as the December numbers have not been reported. Plenty of people are going to healthcare.gov and finding out that they are Medicaid eligible either through traditional pre-PPACA Medicaid or through expansion Medicaid in the non-IGMFY states.
The Exchange number will grow substantially over this weekend as well. The procrastinators are hitting a hard deadline to choose a plan and they don’t even have to come up with the money for another week or two. I will make a $10 dollar donation to the RNC if there are not 150,000 new enrollments between the state exchanges and healthcare.gov between 12:01AM EST 12/20/13 and 11:59PM 12/23/13 EST. If that number is met, my $10 is going to Planned Parenthood instead.
I work in a non-expansion state. My company runs a Medicaid managed care plan. New enrollment is above typical pace at this time of year as people who were eligible but never signed up for Medicaid are signing up from the Exchange. On the private insurance Exchange side the pace of tiny niggling glitches, fixes and tweaks that we have to make on our systems have been expanding geometrically in the past two weeks as enrollment is coming in. And that enrollment is at a scale where there are a sufficient number of odd cases to find glitches that weren’t discovered in a six month testing cycle.
There is a very good chance that on January 1, 2014 seven or eight million people will have health insurance that they otherwise would not have had.
That is a win and I’ll celebrate that while I enjoy my Christmas bonus of Glen Livet 21 tonight.