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January 2014 St@teside

New Year, New Enrollment Numbers

The start of the New Year brought us to a critical date in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with coverage beginning for marketplace enrollees and newly eligible Medicaid enrollees in expansion states. January 1 also marked the halfway point of open enrollment, and, especially with the recent release of HHS’s enrollment report for October 1–December 28, all eyes are on enrollment numbers. This new set of enrollment data has revealed a few key trends.

  • There has been a significant increase in enrollment. In State-Based Marketplaces (SBMs), the total number of individuals who have selected plans has reached 956,000, which represents a three-fold increase in the number of plan selections since November. Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces (FFMs) saw a 7-fold increase in plan selection in December, reaching a total of 1,196,000.
  • The latest enrollment data give more detail on the demographic breakdown of exchange enrollees. The age distribution of exchange enrollees has been of particular interest due to the concern over the uptake rate among “young invincibles” and the need to have younger individuals enrolled in the marketplaces to help balance the costs of older enrollees.  For the first three months of open enrollment, 24 percent of individuals who have selected plans are between the ages of 18-34, while 33 percent are between the ages of 55-64.
  • We now have more data on plan selection broken down by metal level. Of those who have selected a marketplace plan, 20 percent have selected bronze plans, 60 percent have selected silver plans, and 20 percent have selected either gold or platinum plans. This trend will be important to watch as there is concern that those who are eligible to receive cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) may be more inclined to select bronze plans because they look less costly compared to other metal level plans. However, individuals can only receive CSRs, which lower out-of-pocket costs, if they select silver plans.

For additional information and the most up-to-date enrollment numbers from the states, visit the Kaiser Family Foundation’s State Marketplace Statistics.

In addition to enrollment trends, there will be a lot to keep an eye on in 2014 as the ACA nears full implementation. Stay tuned to St@teside as we track the latest ACA developments.