Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama, Obamacare — January 3, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Obamacare Friday Update: 2.1M Private, 9.5M Total


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

I won’t rehash how crazy things have been for me lately. Anyone who’s been following me knows that in the past 10 days I’ve been linked to, cited or featured in stories ranging from Forbes to the Washington Post.

Perhaps the most surreal moment, however, was White House Healthcare Policy Advisor Phil Schiliro mentioning me by name (twice) on MSNBC the morning of New Year’s Eve.

Anyway, needless to say, things have been a bit busy, so today I’m just posting some quick numbers:

Private Enrollments are now up to at least 2.1 million people, with some lingering last-minute enrollments from the post-Christmas-through-New Year’s Eve week still not reported yet. I suspect the final tally will be closer to 2.2 million, possibly slightly higher.

–Now that significant numbers of people are actually enrolling, the big anti-ACA talking point is “But How Many have PAID???” The answer to that appears to be at least 50%, with the other 1.05 million hopefully getting their billing/payment situation squared away throughout the first 10 days of January (most insurance companies have agreed to extend payments for January policies until then; Oregon’s companies have not only extended their payment deadline until the 15th, they’re even accepting January enrollments through the 6th.

Bottom line: Don’t lose any sleep over the private, profit-based insurance companies. They’ll make sure that they get their money one way or the other.

Medicaid/CHIP expansion and other publicly-funded, ACA-created healthcare program enrollments are now up to around 4.3 million people.

–I’ve decided to start including the 3.1 million “sub26ers” (young adults between 19-26 years old who now have healthcare coverage under their parent’s plans thanks to the ACA) in my Grand Total tally, although obviously they’ll be separated out from the other two categories.

–Finally, I’ve started attempting to track a 4th category: Direct, or “Off-Exchange” enrollments in ACA-compliant policies. These are the people who choose to sign up for insurance policies directly through the companies, bypassing the ACA exchanges completely. Lots of people are doing this either because they’re certain that they don’t qualify for a tax subsidy anyway, because their subsidy would be too small to bother with the hassle of going through the exchange process, or both.

I have no idea what this number could be, but in New Mexico, at least, it appears to be significant–one of the 4 companies operating in the state reports about 2,000 private enrollments via the exchange…and over 1,200 directly through the company! If that 60% is typical across the country, that suggests that the actual enrollment tally may be being underreported by a significant number. I don’t have much data on this yet, however; New Mexico may be an aberration, so until I have more evidence that direct enrollments are worth tracking, I’ll leave it at that.

Anyway, add ’em all up and so far we’re looking at roughly 9.5 million people who now have healthcare coverage of one sort or another under the Affordable Care Act. I don’t know how many of these folks already had coverage prior to the ACA, but it’s still an impressive number, especially given the ugly technical problems of the October launch.

You can view all of the supporting data, plus much more at