According to the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, CEO Richard Onizuka said yesterday, “The expected surge in last-minute enrollments has begun.” It is certainly true that enrollments in qualified (private) health plans (QHP) increased significantly since the last report, but that “begun” is key. Will enrollments really jump further next week, or will they just increase similarly to this week?
The reports do not all cover the same number of days. When you look at the number of enrollments per day covered by the report, the current report’s enrollments are still significant compared to other reports. But, as Lisa Stiffler at the Seattle Times notes, total QHP enrollments have still not met the Exchange’s goal for January.
As of March 23, QHP enrollments total 125,207. Enrollments in Medicaid by those who are newly eligible under the Affordable Care Act expansion total 250,202. Enrollments in Medicaid by those who were previously eligible but had not enrolled total 129,862.
As the Exchange’s press release notes, March 23 was the deadline for coverage beginning April 1. March 31 is the end of open enrollment; those who enroll by then will be insured as of May 1.