The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services announced Sunday that 1.1 million Americans have picked a plan through Healthcare.gov as of Dec. 24. However, CMS’s data continues to leave many key details shrouded in mystery:
To start, the figure doesn’t reveal how many people actually paid for health plans as of Dec. 24. Though payment is what typically makes enrollment official, up to this point, CMS has counted people as being “enrolled” if they merely went through the process of picking a health care plan.
Additionally, CMS still hasn’t provided a demographic breakdown of those who have signed up for insurance through the exchange, which is a key metric for measuring the success of Obamacare, because the exchanges need a critical mass of young and healthy individuals to offset the cost of covering older and sicker enrollees and those with pre-existing conditions.
But for context, it’s also worth keeping in mind that before the exchanges opened, the Obama administration had projected 3.3 million enrollees by the end of December and the Congressional Budget Office had projected 7 million enrollments by March 31 — the scheduled end of the open enrollment period.
If CMS’s data was whittled down to the number of Americans who have actually paid for insurance, and then further broken down into demographic categories, Obamacare likely wouldn’t be looking any better than it did three months ago.