Analysis: Obamacare Enrollment to Fall Short of HHS Goal

Wednesday, 12 Mar 2014 02:17 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Enrollment in Obamacare will reach 5.4 million by March 31, well below the administration's original goal of signing up 7 million people by that time, according to a new analysis by Avalere Health.

The analysis, based on enrollment history in the Medicare prescription drug program, finds that another 1.2 million people will enroll this month, in addition to the 4.2 million who had signed up for exchange plans through the end of February, The Washington Post reports.

Even that projection could overstate the final enrollment numbers, according to the Post. That's because the Avalere analysis is based on sign-ups and not official enrollment, and insurers have said about 80 percent of those signing up for exchange plans have paid their first months' premium.

Although the administration has recently moved away from the target of enrolling 7 million people by the end of the month, it has not backtracked on its aim of attracting young adults to the system.

The government wanted roughly 40 percent of enrollees to be between 18 and 34 years old, but the latest report shows just a quarter of those who have chosen a plan are in that age group, Fox News reports.

House Speaker John Boehner took the White House to task over the numbers on Tuesday.

"It seems the president's push to enroll young adults is far too little, too late. The administration won't tell us how many people have actually paid for a plan or how many were previously uninsured," Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said in a statement.

"But what we do know is that young adults — those who the White House repeatedly said are critical — are deciding the healthcare law is a bad deal. Now, millions stand to be forced to pay a new tax because of this law."

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