Washington Healthplanfinder report shows qualified health plan enrollment still well short of projections

December 23 was the deadline for people to sign up for health insurance through the Washington exchange for coverage beginning January 1. The exchange released a new enrollment report on Tuesday, saying that 50,000 people enrolled just between Dec. 20 and 23 — of which 20,000 were in qualified (private) health plans.

Since October 1, 302,030 enrollments have been completed, 78.3 percent of which have been in Medicaid.

Enrollments by people who are newly eligible for Medicaid due to the Affordable Care Act expansion total 100,795 (33.4 percent of total exchange enrollments). Their coverage begins Jan. 1, and it will be funded by a 100 percent federal match for three years (dropping to 90 percent by 2020). This report excludes from the newly eligible numbers those who are transferring from Basic Health and presumptive Social Security Income — they total 47,111. (This group was included in the numbers in the Dec. 5 report.)

The immediate coverage Medicaid group is funded under the normal federal match of 50 percent. In previous reports, the immediate coverage Medicaid group had included both people who were already on Medicaid but had to renew and those who had not applied for Medicaid previously but who were eligible under pre-Medicaid expansion rules.

This report makes a change in how it shows the Medicaid data. It splits out Medicaid re-determinations (people who were already covered by Medicaid but had to renew) from the others in the Medicaid/immediate coverage category. (It is helpful to have this split out, but it complicates comparisons with earlier reports.) Enrollments in immediate coverage Medicaid total 47,492, and Medicaid re-determinations total 88,271; together they account for 45.0 percent of total enrollments.

Enrollments in qualified health plans now total 65,472. As the Seattle Times reported earlier this month, “Officials project that about 130,000 residents will purchase qualified health plans by Jan. 1, 2014, and that 280,000 will enroll by Jan. 1, 2015.” We’re about half way there, with less than a week to go.