As Enrollment Deadline Draws Near, California Meets Goal and Looks to Complete State Coverage

With plenty of time before the March 31, deadline, California is reporting that it has already met its enrollment goals for the health insurance exchanges (HIEs). The California Department of Health Care Services announced that as of January 31, 3013, more than 1.6 million Californians have signed up for either Covered California health insurance plans, or for low cost or no cost Medi-Cal. The strong enrollment trend has extended into February with an additional 100,000 enrollments in Covered California in the first two weeks of this month.

"These enrollment numbers mean that with six weeks to go, California has already exceeded its projected base enrollment for the 2014 open-enrollment period. While this is a strong showing, our goal is not pinned to meeting projections, but to making sure every Californian gets covered," said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee in the press release announcement.

As insurers and health care providers wait for important demographic data on this new patient population in order to speculate on future utilization and costs, California can be looked to as an indicator of sorts. California is home to nearly 12% of the entire US population, according to recent census data.

Based on data reported thus far, young adult enrollment in the California plans is trending slightly upward, reporting that young adults 18-34 years old, represent 26% of those who have selected a Covered California plan.

Other reported data include Latino enrollments, which have increased from 18% at the end of 2013, to 28% at the time of the report in January.