Wednesday morning, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the latest enrollment figures for the Affordable Care Act, going through the end of November. The news is good and bad for basically everyone who has an opinion on the law.
The facts: in Georgia, about 61,000 applications for insurance were received through the federal exchange, HealthCare.gov, from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30; 6,800 people enrolled in a plan; and 10,925 were deemed eligible for Medicaid.
In Alabama, about 25,300 applications for insurance were received through the federal exchange; 3,448 people enrolled in a plan; and 3,066 were deemed eligible for Medicaid.
(Both Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Alabama Governor Robert Bentley have rejected a state expansion of Medicaid, which the federal government will significantly subsidize. "The 620,000 new enrollees would have stretched our resources and our state to the limit," Deal said back in January.)
Nationally, about 1.9 million applications were received; 365,000 people enrolled in a plan (137,000 through the federal exchange; 227,000 through the various state-run exchanges); and 803,000 were deemed eligible for Medicaid.
These figures are significantly larger than October's enrollment numbers, but still far short of the federal government's projections, which estimated 1.2 million people would enroll through either the federal or state exchanges by the end of November. The White House maintains that enrollment will continue to accelerate as the Dec. 23 deadline, to purchase coverage beginning Jan. 1, approaches. Open enrollment closes March 31.
Evidence of the technical improvements to HealthCare.gov can be seen in the enrollment numbers," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. "More and more Americans are finding that quality, affordable coverage is within reach."