Enrollment in public health exchanges soars to 5 million: HHS

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(Bloomberg News photo) Volunteer Tony Hausner (left) assists an enrollee arriving to a health insurance education and enrollment event in Silver Spring, Md.

By Jerry Geisel, Crain News Service

WASHINGTON (March 19, 2014) — Enrollment in public health insurance exchanges continues to surge, with enrollment crossing the 5 million mark, a top federal healthcare regulator said March 17.

A “weekend wave of consumers signing up for new coverage” brought exchange enrollment to more than 5 million, Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, wrote in a blog post.

The latest statistics indicate that enrollment in the exchanges, authorized under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, has jumped by about 800,000 since March 1. That’s when more than 4.2 million people had enrolled, according to a comprehensive report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

If enrollment continues to increase at the current rate, the number of enrollees could hit 6 million—the estimate made earlier by the Congressional Budget Office—by the time open enrollment ends on March 31.

Earlier, California healthcare regulators reported that enrollment had reached 1,018,315 as of March 15, an increase of about 150,000 in just two weeks. California has, by far, the biggest public health insurance exchange, followed by Florida with 442,087 enrollees as of March 1.

This report appeared on the website of Crain’s Business Insurance magazine, a Chicago-based sister publication of Tire Business.

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