Enrollment grows as Obama administration ramps up outreach

Between 2.4 million and 3.5 million people have enrolled in Medicaid as of January, a new analysis from Avalere Health has found. The enrollment figures include up to 1.7 million newly enrolled individuals who signed up in January alone.

"Medicaid enrollment grew quickly in January, now that coverage is in effect and new enrollees can seek healthcare services," Avalere Health Vice President Caroline Pearson said yesterday in a statement. "Additionally, more effective processing of backlogged applications likely contributed to the increased enrollment in January."

Meanwhile, California's health insurance exchange, Covered California, has enrolled almost 830,000 individuals through mid-February. Of those new enrollees, about 80 percent already have paid their first month's premium, reported Central Valley Business Times.

"These enrollment numbers mean that with six weeks to go, California has already exceeded its projected base enrollment for the 2014 open-enrollment period," Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee told the newspaper.

To further boost exchange sign-ups in the last few weeks of open enrollment, the Obama administration is ramping up its outreach efforts. But the latest push isn't about reaching out to national audiences; instead, President Barack Obama and other top administration members, including Vice President Joe Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama, are targeting African Americans, Latinos and young adults. Plus, they're reaching out to the 25 cities with the most uninsured consumers in the country, Politico reported.

"In the final push, we'll be ramping up efforts to reach the uninsured directly where they are," White House Healthcare Strategist Tara McGuinness told Politico, "in their communities, on the radio stations they listen to, the programs they watch, the websites they read, through their family members and people in their community who know them and want them to get covered, and by encouraging celebrities and athletes to get the word out."

To learn more:
- read the Avalere Health analysis
- see the Central Valley Business Times article
- check out the Politico article

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