Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Strong Enrollment Numbers Released by Covered California and Department of Health Care Services

Enrollment in Covered California Health Insurance Plans Surpasses 700K; Large Gains Also Seen in Latino Enrollment and Medi-Cal Enrollment 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California™ and the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) announced today that as of Jan. 31, 2014, 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.

Nearly half of those covered — 728,410 Californians — selected a Covered California health insurance plan. This strong enrollment trend is extending into February, where in the first two weeks more than 100,000 individuals enrolled in Covered California, increasing the cumulative total enrollment in Covered California to 828,638.


“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.


Lee also noted that of those enrolled through Jan. 31, 626,210 are eligible for subsidies, and insurance companies are reporting that 80 percent of all enrollees have paid their first month’s premium. 

Additionally, 877,000 applicants were determined to be likely eligible for Medi-Cal coverage. DHCS also transitioned 652,000 individuals into the Medi-Cal program from the state’s Low Income Health Program. Automated enrollment allowed county human services agencies to enroll 106,000 individuals into Medi-Cal coverage, and another 65,000 were enrolled through the Express Lane program.

“This continued high interest in quality coverage from our Medi-Cal managed care plans is very encouraging,” said Toby Douglas, director of DHCS noting that approximately 1.6 million additional Californians have enrolled or been found likely eligible for Medi-Cal since October. “These innovative ways of getting so many additional people into coverage moves us that much closer to realizing the department’s vision of improving the health of all Californians.”

January also saw a significant increase in the number of Latinos enrolled. For the month of January, Latino enrollment in Covered California reached 28 percent, compared with a cumulative rate of about 18 percent for October through December. The enrollment rate of Spanish-speaking Californians increased, representing about 11.5 percent in January, compared with 5 percent during the first three months of open enrollment.

“We had 45,745 Latinos enroll in a single month,” Lee said. “We’re glad to see increased momentum for enrollment in the Latino communities, but we still have work to do as we move into the final six weeks before the March 31 deadline.” 

DHCS also reported improved Latino participation among those found likely to be eligible for Medi-Cal enrollment. The percentage of Latinos within the applicant pool increased from 32 percent as of Dec. 31 to 38 percent through Jan. 31.

Through Jan. 31, 2014, online applications had been started for an estimated 3,031,675 individuals seeking coverage. In the month of January, 195,356 individuals enrolled in subsidized or unsubsidized coverage through Covered California.

Enrollment of young adults 18 to 34 years old is trending slightly upward, at 26 percent of the consumers who have selected a Covered California health insurance plan. This age group represents about 25 percent of the state’s population but approximately 36 percent of those who are eligible for subsidies.  

Most subsidy-eligible consumers who enrolled — 451,074, or about 62 percent — signed up for a Silver plan, the second-lowest-costing plan of the four plan tiers. About 86 percent of consumers across all tiers received some sort of financial assistance.

Anthem Blue Cross of California, Blue Shield of California, Kaiser Permanente and Health Net lead the way among plans chosen, collectively reflecting almost 92 percent of total enrollment.

In Covered California’s Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), 571 small businesses — representing nearly 5,000 employees and their dependents — have enrolled for coverage.

Consumers are reminded that there are many paths to enroll in Covered California health insurance plans and in Medi-Cal, including in-person assistance from thousands of Certified Insurance Agents, Certified Enrollment Counselors and county eligibility workers, as well as self-enrollment online. Consumers can find the nearest in-person assisters by visiting the “Find Local Help” page at CoveredCA.com.

Consumer response to the application process for Covered California and Medi-Cal has been positive. In the first three months, at least 60 percent of those who completed enrollment said it was “easy.” About 82 percent of consumers said they found the information needed to choose the right health plan for them.
Here’s a sample of what people are saying through social media channels in January:

“For the 1st time in 15 years, I have health insurance without having to go through months of red tape. Thanks @CoveredCA — Nicole (via Facebook)

“I am signed up and I had a great experience doing it. I appreciate having insurance offered to me at a price I can now afford!!! Thanks to our president OBAMA!!!” — Elaine (via Facebook)

“So I had my 1st appointment w/doctor + lab under #ACA and insurance now processed it. Services total: $1026; my share: $15. Thankful.” — Ray (via Facebook)

“I've been to the Doctor’s office 3 times. No cost! Except my $120 (premium) payment for Kaiser! It feels amazing to finally after nearly a decade have insurance. Thank you Mr. Obama” — Gina (via Facebook)

“Got my ID card. It's official. I have health care. Thanks @obamacare @CoveredCA
I literally could not have done this without you. #ACA — Anonymous (via Facebook)

Monthly Enrollment Statistics
Oct. 1 - Jan. 31

Applications
Individuals
Total number of electronic applications initiated including Medi-Cal
1,684,264
3,031,675*
Completed applications through Covered California including Medi-Cal
1,222,769
2,339,805
Individuals determined to be eligible
for enrollment in Covered California

1,222,506
Enrollments in a Covered California
health plan

728,410
Subsidized enrollments (those eligible for federal premium assistance, cost-sharing reduction) in a Covered California health plan

626,210
Non-subsidized enrollments in a Covered California health plan

102,200
Medi-Cal applicants**
(Includes individuals who are pending,
eligible and conditionally eligible
coming in through Covered California)

877,000
Medi-Cal transitions from
Low Income Health Program (LIHP)

652,000
* Estimated, based on an average of 1.8 individuals per application.
** Does not include applicants for current Medi-Cal coverage through county human services agencies. This category may also include some individuals counted in other categories above.

Total Enrollment Oct. 1 - Jan. 31
Subsidy-Eligible
Unsubsidized
Total
626,210
102,200
728,410




Age of Individuals Enrolled: Oct. 1 to Jan. 31
Age
Subsidy Eligible
Unsubsidized
Total
Less Than 18
29,940
4.8%
18,734
18.3%
48,674
6.7%
18 to 25
68,351
10.9%
8,322
8.1%
76,673
10.5%
26 to 34
92,948
14.8%
19,250
18.8%
112,198
15.4%
35 to 44
100,185
16.0%
18,684
18.3%
118,869
16.3%
45 to 54
155,494
24.8%
18,676
18.3%
174,170
23.9%
55 to 64
179,201
28.6%
18,349
18.0%
197,550
27.1%
65 and Older
91
0.0%
185
0.2%
276
0.0%
Grand Total
626,210
102,200
728,410


Race of Individuals Enrolled*: Oct. 1 to Jan. 31
Race
Subsidy Eligible
Base Projection for 3/31/2014
Unsubsidized
Total
White
184,997
38.5%
194,000
41,951
52.1%
238,929
42.6%
Latino
107,892
22.5%
265,000
11,943
14.8%
119,835
21.4%
Asian
114,127
23.8%
83,000
11,893
14.8%
132,944
23.7%
Black or
African-American
11,946
2.5%
22,000
2,318
2.9%
15,270
2.7%
Mixed Race
26,003
5.4%
16,000
6,682
8.3%
34,631
6.2%
American Indian
and Alaska Native
982
0.02%
56
0.01%
1,401
0.2%
Native Hawaiian and
other Pacific Islander
951
0.02%
146
0.01%
1,175
0.2%
Other
13,046
2.7%
2,007
2.5%
16,396
2.9%
Unknown Race, Non-Latino
20,095
4.2%

3,546
4.4%
23,641
4.2%
Grand Total
480,039

80,542
560,581
* Excludes 144,188 non-respondents.

Language of Individuals Enrolled*: Oct. 1 to Jan. 31
Language
Subsidy Eligible
Unsubsidized
Total
English
471,843
82.5%
90,338
96.8%
562,181
84.5%
Spanish
46,282
8.1%
1,374
1.5%
47,656
7.2%
Asian and Pacific Islander Languages
52,650
9.2%
1,590
1.7%
54,240
8.2%
Indo-European Languages
1,494
0.3%
75
0.1%
1,569
0.2%
Grand Total
572,269
93,377
665,646
* Excludes 62,764 non-respondents.

Metal Level of Individuals Enrolled: Oct. 1 to Jan. 31
Metal Level
Subsidy Eligible
Unsubsidized
Total
Minimum Coverage
2,671
0.4%
5,625
5.5%
8,296
1.1%
Bronze
132,302
21.1%
34,515
33.8%
166,817
22.9%
Silver
421,750
67.3%
29,324
28.7%
451,074
61.9%
Gold
37,537
6.0%
14,696
14.4%
52,233
7.2%
Platinum
31,950
5.1%
18,040
17.7%
49,990
6.9%
Grand Total
626,210
102,200
728,410


Carrier Selected of Individuals Enrolled: Oct. 1 to Jan. 31
Carrier
Subsidy Eligible
Unsubsidized
Total
Anthem Blue Cross
of California
191,934
30.7%
31,696
31.0%
223,630
30.7%
Blue Shield of California
182,267
29.1%
31,379
30.7%
213,646
29.3%
Chinese Community
Health Plan
7,141
1.1%
517
0.5%
7,658
1.1%
Contra Costa Health Plan
597
0.1%
71
0.1%
668
0.1%
Health Net (HMO)
96,109
15.3%
7,960
7.8%
104,069
14.3%
Health Net (PPO)
13,388
2.1%
8,464
8.3%
21,852
3.0%
Kaiser Permanente
113,791
18.2%
17,657
17.3%
131,448
18.0%
L.A. Care Health Plan
10,253
1.6%
2,190
2.1%
12,443
1.7%
Molina Healthcare
3,980
0.6%
503
0.5%
4,483
0.6%
Sharp Health Plan
4,741
0.8%
1,259
1.2%
6,000
0.8%
Valley Health Plan
688
0.1%
128
0.1%
816
0.1%
Western Health Advantage
1,321
0.2%
376
0.4%
1,697
0.2%
Grand Total
626,210
102,200
728,410

About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California, in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. With coverage starting in 2014, Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses can purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.

Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and the Legislature. For more information on Covered California, please visit www.CoveredCA.com.

About the Department of Health Care Services
The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) works to preserve and improve the physical and mental health of all Californians. DHCS provides health care services for nearly 9.2 million Californians through Medi-Cal, including medical, dental, mental health, substance use treatment services and long-term services and supports. This is accomplished through an investment of approximately $70 billion annually in public funds for the care of low-income families, children, pregnant women, seniors and persons with disabilities. DHCS focuses on delivering quality, effective services primarily through coordinated systems of care provided by 21 Medi-Cal managed care plans located in all of California’s 58 counties. For more information about DHCS, please visit www.dhcs.ca.gov.