Analysis: Exchange enrollment won't hit federal projections

The latest health insurance exchange enrollment data suggests the marketplaces are on track to sign up 5.4 million people--falling just short of the government's prediction of 6 million.

Avalere Health based its analysis on the first open enrollment period for Medicare Part D, which saw 22 percent of sign-ups occur in the last month. "If exchanges follow the same pattern, Avalere projects that 1.2 [million] people would enroll in coverage in the month of March," the analysis states.

Part of that projected increase comes from the federal government solving problems associated with HealthCare.gov. "In recent months, enrollment in federally-run exchanges has caught up to the initial enrollment surge in many state-based exchanges," Avalere Health CEO Dan Mendelson said in the analysis. "The federal marketplaces have been fixed and now surpass some states in terms of ease of consumer access, eligibility and functionality."

Though that represents a boost in enrollment during the last few weeks, signing up 5.4 million consumers still would fall shy of the 6 million enrollees the Congressional Budget Office predicted in February, FierceHealthPayer previously reported. The CBO lowered its initial prediction of 7 million enrollees because it said HealthCare.gov's glitch-filled rollout likely deterred about 1 million consumers from signing up for coverage.

Meanwhile, Avalere found the state-based exchanges in California, Florida, Idaho, North Carolina and Washington have the highest enrollment rates compared to their projections. But Hawaii, the District of Columbia and Massachusetts, which all faced technical glithces, have the fewest sign ups based on initial estimates.

To learn more:
- here's the Avalere Health analysis

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