[guest post by Dana]
The White House gleefully announced today that enrollment for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces is at 6 Million and Counting!
The surge is being attributed to the open enrollment period closing in just four days.
According to the White House, on Wednesday alone, HealthCare.gov received 1.5 million visits and 430,000 calls were made to its call centers.
In light of the surge and the administration’s goal being reached just four days before the deadline, certain questions have been raised. The Foundry neatly narrows them down.
1. Have they paid premiums?
Far more important than the number of people who have picked a plan is the number of people who have paid their premiums. Without paying the premium, they have not effectively gained insurance coverage. It is likely that there will be a significant portion who do not pay their premiums in time to gain coverage, meaning actual enrollment numbers will turn out to be lower.
2. How old are they?
The last detailed report released showed that the demographics weren’t adding up the way the Obama administration wanted. It had pegged the goal for the proportion of young adults (18-34) at 40 percent of total enrollees, and the latest report showed them accounting for only 27 percent.
3. What’s their health status?
This question is closely related to the age question. The reason young people are needed is because they are generally healthier than older people. They pay into the system with premiums but have relatively low medical claims, helping to balance out costs for insurers. Are the exchange enrollees the type of patients usually found in a high-risk pool, or are healthy people attracted to Obamacare, too?