Private plan enrollment in Washington exchange passes 100,000, but still short of goal

Yesterday the Washington Health Benefit Exchange released enrollment numbers through Feb. 20. Qualified (private) health plan (QHP) enrollments now total 101,857 since Oct. 1. Enrollees who are newly eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act expansion now total 202,168 and those who were previously eligible for Medicaid under the old rules but had not previously enrolled total 102,238.

The exchange’s goal for January 2014 was 130,000 QHP enrollees.

As the Seattle Times notes, March 31 is the enrollment deadline for private coverage in 2014 (people can enroll in Medicaid at any time). Additionally,

Consultants in 2011 projected that by the end of 2014, about 280,000 Washington residents would be signed up for private health-insurance plans for coverage beginning in 2015.

Will we have kicked that number through the goalpost when enrollment for 2015 ends? It’s an important figure, because it underlies calculations showing how Washington’s exchange can become self-sustaining. By law, exchanges must do that, one way or another, by next Jan. 1.