CMS: California Has Highest Number of ACA Exchange Enrollees

California had the most health insurance exchange enrollees of any state, with about 1.4 million enrollees as of June 30, according to new federal data, The Hill reports (Sullivan, The Hill, 9/8).

Details of Exchange Enrollees

Overall, the data show about 9.9 million U.S. residents had selected and paid for health coverage through the federal and state insurance exchanges by the end of June, down slightly from enrollment estimates released earlier this year (Armour, Wall Street Journal, 9/8).

The 9.9 million figure accounts for all individuals who enrolled in exchange coverage and paid their premiums as of June 30 (The Hill, 9/8). In total, 7.2 million consumers purchased coverage through the federal exchange and 2.7 million purchased coverage through state-based exchanges (Wall Street Journal, 9/8).

Enrollment Down, but Still on Track

The enrollment number is down from the 10.2 million individuals the Obama administration had said paid their first month’s premiums as of March 31, effectively activating their coverage and completing the enrollment process. The decline reflects nearly one in four U.S. residents who dropped or lost their coverage (Goldstein, Washington Post, 9/8).

The figure is lower in part because some consumers:

  • Did not pay their premiums (Dickson, Modern Healthcare, 9/8);
  • Were unable to verify their immigration status; and
  • Supplied data that did not match government records (The Hill, 9/8).

The exchanges terminated coverage for 423,000 people who failed to provide sufficient documentation of their immigration and citizenship statuses (Wall Street Journal, 9/8). According the Obama administration, further enrollment fluctuation is likely as individuals’ eligibility statuses change for various reasons, such as gaining employer-sponsored coverage or getting married (The Hill, 9/8).

HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said in a statement, “Consumers from coast to coast are continuing to show how important health coverage is to their families” (Johnson, AP/Washington Times, 9/8). The administration noted that the revised enrollment number remains higher than its target of enrolling 9.1 million U.S. residents in exchange coverage by the end of this year.

Details of Exchange Enrollment in Calif., Other States

California has surpassed Florida — which had 1.3 million exchange enrollees as of the end of June — to have the highest exchange enrollment (The Hill, 9/8).

Of those who purchased exchange coverage in California:

  • 9,302 bought catastrophic coverage;
  • 350,225 purchased a bronze plan;
  • 895,657 purchased a silver plan;
  • 74,067 purchased a gold plan; and
  • 64,316 purchased a platinum plan.

About 88% of Covered California enrollees — or 1.2 million — signed up for coverage using advanced premium tax credits. The average tax credit in the state was $302.

About 51% — or 715,158 — signed up using cost-sharing reductions (CMS Fact Sheet, 9/8).

Meanwhile, Mississippi and Georgia saw the largest enrollment reductions, with 8% declines in both states (Modern Healthcare, 9/8). At the same time, enrollment increased in other states. For example, Massachusetts saw a 26% enrollment increase (Modern Healthcare, 9/8).

Fewer Consumers Receive Advanced Premium Tax Credits

CMS also reported a drop in the number of U.S. residents receiving advanced premium tax credits to help them purchase coverage through the exchanges.

By the end of June, 8.3 million U.S. residents were receiving tax credits, compared with 8.7 million who were getting the tax credits at the end of March (Modern Healthcare, 9/8). Monthly tax credits average $270 (Wall Street Journal, 9/8).

According to CMS, states with the highest rates of consumers receiving tax credits are:

  • Mississippi, with 95.4% of exchange enrollees receiving tax credits;
  • Wyoming, with 92.2% of enrollees getting tax credits; and
  • North Carolina, with 91.6% of enrollees receiving tax credits (O’Donnell, USA Today, 9/8).

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