Just over a month away from the deadline in which consumers must secure insurance benefits without incurring a penalty, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed 3.3 million people have signed up for a qualified health plan through the federal and state-based exchanges. However, when analyzing the state marketplaces, enrollment levels have varied widely, according to a new analysis.
For example, in 15 states, sign-up levels are above 60 percent of what state exchanges established as a goal when the enrollment period began in October, health services and advisory company Avalere Health found. Some of the biggest gains were discovered in states along the West Coast and East Coast. However, others have lagged behind, largely due to the aftereffects of the rollout.
“The latest data shows that exchange enrollment continues to rebound following early technological problems, although progress is uneven across states,” said Caroline Pearson, vice president of Avalere. “The question remains if the final enrollment surge at the end of March will make up the ground lost in October and November.”
The government’s goal of insuring 7 million people by the end of March may not come to pass. At a private fundraiser in Minneapolis, Minn., Vice President Joe Biden said the number of enrollees would likely be closer to between 5 million and 6 million, The Associated Press reported.