Obamacare Enrollment Hits 7 Million, Putting Downward Pressure on 2015 Premiums; Word-of-Mouth Spreads the Truth

(Updated March 31)

As the “train wreck” called Obamacare pulls into the station it’s becoming clear that some 7 million Americans are signing up to purchase insurance in the Exchanges. Ten days ago I went out on a limb and predicted that we would hit 7 million, if not by March 31, by early summer. Now it appears that we’ll break through that target by midnight.

Seven million was the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO’s) initial estimate, but when the roll-out proved rocky, the administration lowered its expectations to 6 million. Reform’s opponents groused that this still was too optimistic, and before long the consensus estimate fell to 4 to 5 million. (Conservatives, who had helped lower the consensus, then accused Democrats of moving the goal-post to make it easier to claim success.) 

                             Younger Americans Join the Pool

Who are these last-minute shoppers? According to the Wall Street Journal,carriers are beginning to report that many are under 40.  Today, more insurers confirmed the trend. This should come as no surprise.

We always knew that people in their 50s and 60s would join the Exchanges first. Healthy 20-somethings and 30-somethings who rarely see a doctor would be in no rush to sign up. Why begin paying premiums before you have to? 

                                          Momentum Builds

Now, younger Americans are  jumping into the pool, and, most importantly, the pace of enrollments is building. Friday, March 28, Charles Gaba, the “numbers Geek” who has correctly predicted earlier enrollment milestones, wrote: “We’re in uncharted territory. . . Things are moving VERY quickly now, and events are quickly overtaking my ability to keep up.”  Yesterday (Saturday, March 29), Gaba hiked his March 31 estimate to 6.7 million, up from 6.22 million earlier in the week.

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Breaking News: As of Today Top Analyst Projects That Well Over 6 Million Will Enroll in Obamacare by March 31

 

Charles Gaba, the  health care guru who has become widely known as the “Nate Silver of Obamacare”. is now projecting that by March 31 6.22 million Americans will have signed up for insurance in the Exchanges. 

And that is what Gaba is projecting today.  I suspect that as we approach the deadline,  enrollments will snowball.

As young people who have signed up talk to those who haven’t, more and more 18-34 year olds will learn about the subsidies that not only  cut premiums, but slash deductibles.

Spread the word: the subsidies are so generous that roughly 6.5 million Americans will be able to buy $0 premium plans. That’s right—the insurance will cost nothing. Half of those 6.6 million will be under 39. 

.7 million anyone?

Keep in mind, after March 31 people can sign up if they experience a “life-changing” event: get married, have a baby, lose a job, get divorced.

A great many of them will be under 40. Young Americans will continue to sign up throughout the summer.

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