State exchanges only enrolled 3% of expected consumers

A new analysis shows health insurance exchanges operating in 12 states have enrolled only 3 percent of their expected 2014 enrollment.

The 12 states--Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington--have enrolled a total of 49,100 people, according to an analysis from Avalere Health. Based on those enrollment numbers, Avalere projects the 12 state-based exchanges will have about 1.4 million people enrolled in exchanges at the close of 2014.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services plans to release the first enrollment numbers for the federal exchange by the end of the week, FierceHealthPayer previously reported. Federal officials expect those figures to be lower than previously anticipated.

"Enrollment in new programs begins slowly and often takes several months to build momentum," Avalere Health CEO Dan Mendelson said in the analysis. "While initial enrollment has been lagging, with aggressive marketing there is still time for awareness of the program to grow and participation to begin."

For example, enrollment in Medicare Part D plans was similarly slow, with only 10 percent of voluntary Part D enrollees signed up for plans only a month before the deadline. And more than 60 percent of people who voluntarily enrolled in a Part D plan signed up after coverage began, Avalere noted.

To learn more:
- read the Avalere Health analysis