A new data set has been published that paints a clear picture of who gained insurance coverage during the 2014 open enrollment period, which ended on April 15, 2014. Recently featured in the New York Times, the data come from Enroll America, a non-profit organization focused on enrolling Americans in health insurance plans, and Civis Analytics, a data analysis firm.
This data set provides insight into the 10 million previously uninsured individuals who now have health insurance. Overall, these newly-insured people reduced the national uninsured rate for adults under the age of 65 from 16.3% in 2013 to 11.4% in 2014.
The lasting image of the initial health exchange roll out is that of persistent technical problems that plagued the federal government’s insurance exchange website Healthcare.gov. At the start of the 2014 open enrollment period in October 2013, the online marketplace for federally-facilitated insurance exchanges was overwhelmed with a volume of potential customers the website was not designed to handle. A handful of state-based exchanges (e.g., Maryland, Massachusetts and Nevada) also witnessed technical glitches that hampered the enrollment process for countless applicants. It took months to fully correct these technical issues, but at the end of the open enrollment period, an estimated 7.3 million people had enrolled in an exchange nationwide. This final tally, released by Politico, is comprised of the 8 million people who signed up in the regular enrollment period less those who did not pay their premiums in time or dropped out of the exchanges for some reason. An additional 6.7 million people also enrolled in Medicaid during the open enrollment period. Continue reading