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Many Unanswered Questions in Obamacare Enrollment Report

The Obama administration reports a big jump in sign-ups under Affordable Care Act, but it didn’t break down how many enrollees paid their premiums, how many were previously uninsured and which plans they chose.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said today 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 today 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, 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 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.

Biggest Growth

State Oct-Jan enrollment Oct-Dec enrollment One-month gain
Mississippi 17,350 8,045 116%
Florida 296,892 158,030 88%
Louisiana 32,864 17,548 87%
Oregon 33,808 18,337 84%
Texas 207,546 118,532 75%

Smallest Growth

State Oct-Jan enrollment Oct-Dec enrollment One-month gain
Connecticut 48,665 36,000 35%
New York 211,290 156,902 35%
Washington 88,945 68,058 31%
Vermont 19,583 15,015 30%
Nevada 22,597 22,566 0%

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