Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama, Obamacare — December 20, 2013 at 10:18 am

Obamacare Signups Friday: 970K (or 1.3M) private enrollments; 3.3M Total


Every Friday I posting the latest enrollment figures for the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) here at Eclectablog. Full details can be viewed daily at

This has been the craziest week yet for, and the past day or so, things went into overdrive.

First, we had this:

If November had an Obamacare surge, consider this the December deluge. California averaged 15,000 daily enrollments early last week, about double the sign-ups the state had in early December. New York is now seeing about 4,500 residents choosing plans each day and, in Connecticut, the number is hovering around 1,400.

That bumped the number of private plan enrollments up to 815,000.

Then came Washington State, which is now up to either 32K or 93K, depending on your definition (WA is the only state to *specifically* define “enrolled” as having already made your first payment; every other state logically recognizes that if you buy a new car with a “$0 down” deal, it’s still considered a sale as far as the dealer is concerned). WA along with new figures from Minnesota and Maryland moved the dial up to 860,000.

The Minnesota numbers are extremely telling for another reason. Check out this passage from the linked article:

By Dec. 14, 11,805 people had signed up for private plans — more than twice the 4,478 private policies that had been purchased by the end of November. That’s in addition to 27,150 people who signed up for the state’s two public insurance plans through MNsure.

The agency estimates that in all, those sign-ups translate to 97,573 people who will be covered since many plans cover more than one family member.

This is one of the only articles that’s specifically listed both the number of *enrollments* as well as the number of *people covered by those enrollments*, and it’s showing nearly a 3x difference. How many of the other numbers reported for other states should be 2-3x higher? I have no way of knowing; we won’t find that out until the next official HHS report.

Then Came The Boom:

According to government figures, about 680,000 people had enrolled in plans through the federal insurance exchange as of earlier this week. That means that nearly 550,000 people signed up this month; figures released by the HHS show that about 137,000 people had chosen a health plan by the end of November.

Holy Moly. Unfortunately, this figure leaves out one crucial detail–how many of those 550,000 (actually closer to 543,000) enrollees are for private plans as opposed to Medicaid/SCHIP expansion? If it includes both, then it’s likely a 30/70 split with around 370,000 belonging on the Medicaid side. The context of the paragraph it’s in suggests that these are all private plans, but that’s too large a number to categorize without being sure.

As a result, until I receive confirmation one way or the other (I’ve emailed the journalist asking for clarification but haven’t heard back yet), there’s a lengthy note next to the figure on the spreadsheet and a special colored area on the graph below.

And finally, late last night came the capper out of California:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With the deadline approaching for Covered California™ health insurance coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014, tens of thousands of new enrollees are seeking out help and signing up for plans. In fact, preliminary data indicates that in just the past three days (Dec 16-18), 53,510 people enrolled by selecting a Covered California health insurance plan. That tops the 30,830 enrollments completed for the entire month of October by nearly 60 percent.

The 15K per day average from last week was extremely impressive. This just upped the ante even more, culminating in the key line:

On Wednesday, Dec. 18, a total of 20,506 enrollments were received by Covered California

Over 20K.

In one day.

From one state.

Anyway, here’s where things stand as of 10:00am Friday morning. Given the news of the past few days, even this could be obsolete by, oh, 10:05am:

Private Enrollments: 970K (or 1.34 million)

Medicaid/SCHIP Expansion: 2.4 Million (or 2.0 million)

Total either way: 3.36 Million

Affordable Care Act Enrollments
Affordable Care Act Enrollments
  • CaptainAmerica

    It’s a good day to be a conservative. It’s a good few months really. MSNBC clowns, frequent posters in this article, have vehemently denied that ACA prices and deductibles were unaffordable. We were all making it up. Now the Liar in Chief has admitted as much. What will it take for Progessive Obama-bots to concede, this law sucks and Health Reform needs to start over, with contributions from both sides.

    • PooPooPeePeePantz

      When one side doesn’t want to reform anything, it’s a bit hard to get a “contribution” from them.

    • kirk

      captain you are looking at the romney plan from mass, why are you confused. hopefully the next step will be medicare for all which will truly be national healthcare. oh, and by the way, have you signed up or are you lucky enough to have group insurance?
      remember this bill, aca, is to save lives, something we all forget.

      • CaptainAmerica

        Single payer will NOT happen. The ACA collapsing, will collapse the Progressive movement with it. Do you really think Americans are stupid enough to vote for an administration which just destroyed 1/6 of the economy, to now “fix it?” This is the end of your Liberal dream. Independents will vote GOP. Millenials are mad, and some are laughing at Obamacare.

        Say goodbye to the Senate. Say goodbye to Obama.

  • Brainwrap this morning: 1.34 million private enrollments. Pres. Obama 2 hours ago: 1 million in December + 365K in Oct/Nov (HHS) = 1.365 million enrollments. Damn, I’m good! :)

    • Nice!

    • danmccinMI

      Wow! And none of them were from among the 6.2 million who had their plans cancelled. Or i guess that must be 13.9 million people assuming that the number of people on a plan that was cancelled had the same number of people covered as are getting covered with each new plan in MN.

      Way to go. At this rate everyone that lost their insurance may actually be reinsured by the time the 2016 election rolls around. Although I guess that depends on how many more get tossed next November when 10 times the number of policies gets cancelled.

      • Brainwrap

        And where exactly did you get the 6.2 million figure for cancelled plans, if you don’t mind my asking? I provide all of my sources; what are yours?

        You’re correct that I don’t track those (partly because I’ve yet to see any consistent source for the claims), but I also don’t track people who have enrolled for ACA-compliant policies directly through the insurance companies without running it through the exchanges. Many people who know they don’t qualify for a tax subsidy anyway have done it this way (I know a few myself). Those enrollments won’t show up on the exchange tallies at all either.

        Now, it’s possible that one of these numbers is much larger than the other. It’s possible that they cancel each other out. However, without a full survey of health insurance companies nationwide, it’s very difficult to tell one way or the other, so I don’t include either in my spreadsheet.

        • danmccinMI

          There are numerous estimates all in the same general range. Those were from reports the insurance industry is required to provide on cancellation letters they have sent out. I can’t find the source of that 6.2 million number but it does tie closely with the estimates from the Federal register back in 2010 (well before we were being told we could keep our plans if we liked them, PERIOD.

          This covers it pretty well.

          But these are the relevant passages:

          “On Tuesday, White House spokesman Jay Carney attempted to minimize the disruption issue, arguing that it only affected people who buy insurance on their own. “That’s the universe we’re talking about, 5 percent of
          the population,” … (5 percent of the population happens to be 15 million people, no small number, but let’s leave that aside.)

          The second article, by Lisa Myers and Hanna Rappleye of NBC News, unearthed the aforementioned commentary in the Federal Register, and cited “four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act” as
          saying that “50 to 75 percent” of people who buy coverage on their own are likely to receive cancellation notices due to Obamacare.”

          so 15,000,000 x (50% or 75%) = 7.5 to 11.25 million

          So 6.2 is lower than the number of people Obama was hoping to get cancelled based on grandfathering rule changes back in 2010. That does make sense since the 6.2 number was 1 month ago and there have obviously been a steady stream of more cancellations since then. So i am likely wrong. It probably is higher than 6.2 million, more along the lines of what the Obama administration estimated 3 years ago.

          The only source that i know of that would be the one place that would have all of those cancellations consolidated would be HHS, but for some odd reason, they have not divulged that info. Top Secret along with the ratio of age groups and preexisting conditions that have signed up.

          This does not capture the next shoe to drop from the same article:

          “The Departments’ mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013,” wrote the administration
          on page 34,552 of the Register. All in all, more than half of employer-sponsored plans will lose their “grandfather status” and become illegal. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 156 million Americans—more than half the population—was covered by employer-sponsored insurance in 2013.

          Another 25 million people, according to the CBO, have “nongroup and other” forms of insurance; that is to say, they participate in the market for individually-purchased insurance. In this market, the administration projected that “40 to 67 percent” of individually-purchased plans would lose their Obamacare-sanctioned “grandfather status” and become illegal, solely due to the fact that
          there is a high turnover of participants and insurance arrangements in this market. (Plans purchased after March 23, 2010 do not benefit from the “grandfather” clause.) The real turnover rate would be higher, because plans can lose their grandfather status for a number of other reasons.
          — Forbes

          Personal note: They knew the only way to get young ones into the marketplace was to cancel their existing plans. That is why the grandfathering section was rewritten. Not only was it a lie, it was his plan all along. There was no way for the economics to work without the cancellations forcing young to buy overpriced plans to subsidize the wealthier older people who actually use insurance.

          His miscalculation was thinking he could sucker the healthy into a bad deal. When the ratios are finally released it will be a shock to every obamacare supporter, the rest of us will all yawn. We may even refrain from saying “We told you so”… Naaa.

          I will be looking forward to seeing you include this in your blog to make it more complete.

          • Brainwrap

            And just how many policies were typically being cancelled in a given year on average BEFORE the ACA went into effect? If it’s anywhere close to 5 million (the number I’ve heard most often), then this is a non-issue. If it’s significantly less than that, you may have a valid point.

            However, you also haven’t answered how many people with cancelled plans have simply replaced it with an ACA-compliant one directly through the company. Seeing how most people don’t keep the same policy for more than 2-3 years in a row anyway, for them this would be no different than any other policy changeover, and would never show up in the enrollment numbers.

            You’re correct that we shall see how it plays out. If you want to track the number of cancellations with proper sourcing, be my guest.

          • danmccinMI

            I have no idea how many were cancelled by insurance companies prior to UCA was passed. All i know is how many obama has forced insurers to cancel, but i would think it is a moot point. If you don’t have a problem with obama cancelling policies then forcing people to pay much higher rates than certainly you should have no problem with insurers doing it on their own pre-UCA.

            Really? I have not answered how many people who had their policies cancelled and replaced with UCA compliant plans? Do you think i have free access to HHS computers or would let my computer talk to it if i did? There is only one source for this information and they are tight as a clam with that info. Any ideas of why that might be? Historically obama has been extremely open about sharing info if it is to his political benefit even if it has (had) a Top Secret classification.

            I doubt that i will be spending a huge amount of time trying to pry info from the hands of this administration, but i thought you might be interested in providing a more complete product. I guess you do not trust the HHS estimates documented in the Federal Record or CBO estimates. It has to come from Obama himself to be deemed trustworthy enough to make it into your blog. I understand completely. It is your blog, you did build it, if you like it you can keep it and you get to decide what information you want your viewers to know. Sorry, could not resist but you gotta admit it was pretty funny.

            Do you really charge $5/month to join or is that just the special rate for conservatives?

          • Brainwrap

            What in God’s name are you talking about? This isn’t my blog, and there’s no fee to “join” it. I’m just an occasional contributor.

            Not sure what the UCA is, for that matter. I’m guessing it’s a play on “Unaffordable” Care Act; if so, you’ve already lost the conversation just as you would if you referred to the “Democrat Party” or as I would if I referred to “Rethugs” or whatever.

            Have a good day.

          • danmccinMI

            My first time in here and saw your name on the article. Thought it was your blog. When i tried coming back in there was a banner that required a donation to enter with no close box. I had to follow the link to get back in.

            Very good on catching the unaffordable care act designation. After all it is the ACA for those who have other taxpayers paying their premium, although unusable for most even then due to insnaely high deductibles, but for anyone who pays for it themselves (with probable exception of those with pre-existing conditions) it is most certainly the UCA act. Calling it anything else would violate truth in advertising laws if it were not the government doing it since they get to opt out of following laws that businesses legally must follow.

            So i guess even though all of the fact are on my side since i used a more accurate designation for the act i have lost the argument. Oh well. I guess in truth neither of will know who lost the argument until next November 4th at about 6:01pm EST.

            Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

          • Please tell me you aren’t so dim that you didn’t try just clicking outside the popup box. That’s all it takes to make it go away.
            And yes, this is my blog.

            You are impressively good at cherry picking facts to prove your point, even as the evidence mounts that you’re quite wrong. If folks like you gave a half a fuck about people not being able to afford health insurance BEFORE the ACA, perhaps we’d be farther down the road to solving a problem that makes us an international embarrassment.
            The funny think about American exceptionalism is that it requires us to actually be exceptional.

          • danmccinMI

            It filled my browser window. maybe someone paid a known corrupt Canadian firm, that had a VP that was a sorority sister of someone close to the president $676 million to create the form but it would have taken another $200 million to add a close box.

            And you are impressively good at suppressing facts that do not suit your narrative and posting information you should know to be false on it’s face (but you really, really want to be true). You want to actually do something constructive research pre versus post UCA plans and post total annual cost deltas. Not a chance of that is there? Not the info you want people to know is it?

            And maybe if you libs gave half a fuck about all the good hard working citizens that obama is butt fucking with a cheese grater we would be in a better state. Please hold the false sense of indignity for someone who is stupid enough to buy it (I.E. a liberal). Obama has kicked MORE people off of healthcare than have been added. So if you really gave a shit about people being insured you would be against this idiotic, designed to fail, mess.

            The problem is that you libs always care about people in the collective, not so much for individuals, especially if their pain gets in the way of your political agenda. then they just need to shut up and go away. And you will do your best to shut them up on your site. Fuck em all.

            I guess this is why Conservatives always donate so much more than libs do. But you are always generous with other peoples money.

            I for one have always been in favor of people getting health care but this idiot in the WH, your Messiah, has taken the most completely ignorant approach to trying to solve it. This is why all of the bullshit on your site will be shown to be complete bullshit once obama can no longer bury, postpone, delay and obfuscate about the real numbers. Anyone with a grasp of 3rd grade math and 2nd grade grasp of human nature would have to know this was designed to fail. To not see that demonstrates a severe case of head up obamas butt with lots of kissing sounds.

            The nice to know aspect is that once the real numbers are forced to be released you will have as many visitors as obama has net insurance enrollees. Hope you have another source of income. You libs are going to be staying as far away from any political sites for quite a while.

            BTW, how much more did you have to pay for your new insurance plan or do you work for someone else who pays for it for you? Maybe obama for america or some other Soros shill organization?

            And sorry to break it to you but your definition of exceptionalism is technically referred to as bankruptcy.

  • sherifffruitfly

    great surge news!

    i wanted to browse the data you provided more easily, so i made a tool (using excel + powerpivot) to help me with this. it’s fairly flexible – the data can be sliced and diced in a variety of ways (state, region, federal/state exchanges, etc.). also, the numbers are easily rolled up by US census geographical categories.

    there are also a couple of simple linear projections similar to what you have – just easier on the user (for me at least)

    all in all, it’s a decent way of zeroing in on where enrollment is good or bad, and for what likely reasons.

    I’ll add week-over-week calculations next (and maybe a chart or two), allowing the user to see enrollment surges at a glance. also, i think you may have updated the week 12 numbers (again) – i’ll correct those tomorrow.

    i’ve only added the numbers for weeks 11 and 12 so far – i’ll backfill the earlier weeks soon. the numbers

    i can post the sheet to a site someplace, if anybody’s interested. a couple of screenshots attached.

    thanks so much for your work in compiling the basic data!

    • Brainwrap

      Wow! That’s awesome, thank you…but it might be overkill. Bear in mind that nothing from weeks 1-6 is really worthwhile; everything through that uses “applications” instead of actual enrollments. I didn’t really get it into shape until after the first HHS report.

      Still, if you’d like to upload the files or email them to me, I’d be interested…not sure how much I could work into the Google Doc but it could be useful…

      • sherifffruitfly

        heh no worries. it’s not anything that’s meant to be integrated into your data source. i just wanted a way to easily browse and target the data.

        have a look if you like (and have a new-ish version of excel). you’ll need the powerpivot add-in if you don’t have it already.

        and yah the first few weeks aren’t especially relevant. i’ll probably go back to weeks 9/10 and call it a day (and update going forward).

        the current dashboard should be updated with your latest numbers (as of 2-3 hours ago at least :) ).

        the workbook:

        powerpivot add-in for excel:

        • Brainwrap

          Cool, thanks! Unfortunately my copy of Excel is outdated (and it’s the Mac version, so I don’t know that the plug-in would work), but it’s still pretty cool :)

          • sherifffruitfly

            heh suspected you might be a mac guy :)

            no worries – just lettin ya know it’s out there in case you or anybody is interested.

  • Lynda Groom

    Our daughter, son-in-law and grandson signed up with the exchange in California. After years without insurance they are finally covered. They got a gold plan for $483 per month. The last quote they received in the private market a year ago was well ove $1000 per month. ObamaCare is clearly working for our family. I rest easier knowing they are covered. The co-pays are reasonable and no deductibles. All in all great coverage via Anthem Blue Cross.

    • danmccinMI


      You may want to ask if to see their policy. they probably just told you that to get you off of their back about signing up. There are three keys here that are evidence that this is not a real policy they are talking about. Either you completely misunderstood or they are lying to you.
      1 You did not mention that any of them had preexisting conditions, which if they did you likely would have mentioned, so there is no way their rate would go down unless they had preexisting conditions.
      2 “Our daughter, son-in-law and grandson” indicates that they are relatively young so another reason their rates would not go down. They only go down for older people who tend to have more money. But your daughter could have married older so this is not necessarily a killer.
      3. This is the most obvious. None of the plans have a 0 deductible, not even platinum. There is no such thing as a gold plan without a deductible, hence this is not a real plan.

      Even if they qualified for a subsidy so others are subsidizing their premium, which could negate 1 & 2, a zero deductible is a non-starter as a success story.

      So either they are lying to you or you are trolling for obama to plant false positive stories. If this is the case you really should check your facts to make it remotely believable.

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