ObamaCare enrollments spike in California

 

Nearly 80,000 people have picked out a private health plan in California under ObamaCare, according to data released by the state’s exchange on Thursday.

Covered California, which enrolled 31,000 in October, signed up almost 50,000 additional consumers in the first 19 days of November. Those numbers include those who have made it through the enrollment process and selected a plan but have not yet made a premium payment.

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The exchange also touted a high number of individuals who have filled out applications but not yet selected a healthcare plan. Covered California said it received more than 10,000 completed applications a day last week, topping out with a high of 71,888.

Covered California also released some demographic data on the 31,000 who enrolled in October, saying that 23 percent were between the ages of 18 and 34, and 34 percent were between 55 and 64.

The healthcare law needs a diverse risk pool of young and healthy consumers to balance out older, sicker ones, in order to maintain stable premium prices.

The Obama administration has said it expects the first wave of enrollees to be higher risk but for an influx of lower risk consumers to enter the markets closer to the Dec. 15 and March 15 enrollment deadlines.

Covered California said more than 360,000 have completed applications to date. The state’s goal is to enroll about 1 million people in 2014.

California was one of the few bright spots when the Obama administration released enrollment figures earlier this month, accounting for about a third of the 106,000 enrollees nationwide.

The 14 state-run exchanges have largely avoided the problems plaguing the federal HealthCare.Gov website, and accounted for 75 percent of the first month’s enrollees.