Medicaid accounts for 88.1 percent of WA Healthplanfinder enrollments

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange has been sending out the numbers of people enrolled in health care coverage through the exchange (Washington Healthplanfinder) each week. The most recent release shows that 98,399 enrollments have been completed since the Oct. 1 launch of the exchange. Of those, only 11,742 (11.9 percent) are in qualified health plans (private plans).

Medicaid makes up the rest. 46,827 are newly eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of the program (47.6 percent of the total). 39,830 are currently eligible for Medicaid but are only now signing up (40.5 percent of the total) — this is known as the woodwork effect, as the Kaiser Health News blog noted last week:

The Obama administration’s first enrollment report released Wednesday shows the phenomenon is real. It is happening even in Republican-led states that have fought the health law and refused to take advantage of a provision that would expand their Medicaid programs.

In the first month of open enrollment, about 91,000 people in those non-expanding states who would have qualified for Medicaid before but had not signed up, came to the federal online marketplace and were deemed eligible  for the program,  according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of the data. . . .

In all, nearly 400,000 people nationally have been deemed eligible for Medicaid after going through either the federal online marketplace or their state exchange, according to the government’s announcement Wednesday. No information was released to indicate how many of the people applying in expansion states were previously eligible.

The chart shows the number of new enrollments that have occurred each week in Washington.

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For more on the exchange, see our report from last year.