Tax credit (and approximate enrollment) numbers from the Washington Exchange

Yesterday the Washington Health Benefit Exchange (HBE) announced that Healthplanfinder customers received $334 million in tax credits last year.

The average monthly tax credit per family was $390 a month, or more than $3,100 annually to help lower the costs of health insurance. . . .

Customers who enrolled in 2014 coverage provided their estimated annual income to Washington Healthplanfinder to determine their eligibility for financial help.

Because credit amounts are based on estimated income, many taxpayers may be in for a surprise when they do their federal taxes. As Megan McArdle writes,

I’ve written before that the big Obamacare event of this year will not be the exchange enrollments, but tax season, when people who got too much in subsidies find out how much money they owe the government (and been told by a tax preparer that it was even worse than I thought).

The other piece of news buried in the HBE press release is on enrollment:

As of Jan. 25, more than 127,000 residents have enrolled in Qualified Health Plans for 2015 coverage, with approximately 40,000 of those customers signing up for the first time through Washington Healthplanfinder.

So the Exchange is still well short of its goal of getting 85,000 new enrollees and 130,000 renewals by the end of open enrollment Feb. 15. (Last year they did get a bump at the end of open enrollment, but they got a much bigger bump in December 2013 at the deadline for coverage beginning in January 2014. They did not get a huge bump at the December 2014 deadline for coverage beginning 2015, so it’s unlikely they’ll get a big bump at the end of this year’s open enrollment. Still, it is possible.)

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