The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said February 12 that 3.3 million consumers have selected health plans in the first four months of sign-ups under the Affordable Care Act, but its report left out many details key to understanding how the rollout is really going.
Missing from the report are details about how many of the consumers who signed up actually paid for their first month's premium, a requirement to actually be insured. The document also does not say which insurance plans consumers chose, a metric needed to determine how the insurance market is shaping up. And it offers no details about how many of those signing up for coverage were previously uninsured, the key goal of the law.
The open enrollment period runs through March 31; the data released February 12 covers Oct. 1 through Feb. 1. HHS reported that more than 1.3 million of the 3.3 million enrollees were in the 14 states running their own marketplaces and the rest were in the 36 states using HealthCare.gov, run by the federal government.
Below is a chart showing the states with the biggest enrollment jumps in January and those lagging behind. Those that posted the biggest gains are primarily located in southern states that rely on Healthcare.gov and whose leaders have opposed the Affordable Care Act. (The lone is exception is Oregon, which has had trouble getting its enrollment website off the ground.)
Several of those that increased proportionately slower support the act and have made a big push since the start of enrollment. It is unclear why Nevada shows almost no new enrollees in the month of January.