Obamacare experienced a surge in enrollment last month, as nearly 3.8 million people selected a plan through the exchanges, including 1.2 million young people, administration officials announced on Thursday. The rush represented “an 89 precent increase in the cumulative number of individuals” who enrolled in a health care plan through the exchange between March 1 and April 19.
Cumulatively, more than 8 million people have enrolled in an Obamacare plan though state or federal marketplaces since the beginning of open enrollment. 2.2 million of those people — or 28 percent — are between the ages of 18 and 34.
The administration also confirmed that 4.8 million people enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), 5 million enrolled in coverage outside of the marketplaces, and 3 million young people were able to remain on their parents’ health care plans. For the first time, marketplace enrollees also self-reported their race and ethnicity. Of those who did, 62.9 percent are white, 16.7 percent are African American, and 10.7 percent are Latino.
Significantly, the proportion of young people — a key proxy for the health of beneficiaries that predicts the stability of the risk pools — falls in line with the experiences of Massachusetts, which enacted similar reforms in 2006. There, the number of young enrollees increased over time so that approximately 28 percent of enrollees were between the ages of 19 and 34 after the first six months.
Officials did not say how many of the new enrollees were previously uninsured, however, or what percentage paid for their premiums. The report notes that insurers have indicated that “90 percent to 90 percent of the people who have selected a Marketplace plan have made premium payments.”