Study: ACA Enrollment to Date vs. 2014 & 2016 Expectations

new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) shows that as of March 1, the ACA’s health insurance marketplaces had enrolled 61 percent of the projected 2014 enrollment. With White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s announcement Tuesday that enrollment exceeded 7 million on the last day of open enrollment, experts say the percentage is likely much higher.


The report was authored by researchers at the Urban Institute and measures marketplace enrollment against expectations for March 2014 and 2016. The authors found that as of March 1, the date on which the most recent state-specific estimates were released, the marketplace enrollment figures were about 25 percent of what is expected by 2016—approximately 17 million.


The report compares the performance of state-based marketplaces versus their federally facilitated counterparts. Collectively, state marketplaces have been more successful in enrolling people in plans than have federally facilitated marketplaces. The researchers note, however, that significant coverage gains can be expected in both over the next two years, among enrollees who are eligible for subsidies, as well as those who are not—including individuals who enroll later in 2014 due to qualifying events such as the birth of a child or change in marital status.


“Even with marketplace enrollment surpassing the original goalpost of 7 million, this is still just the beginning. Enrollment is expected to more than double over the next two years,” said Katherine Hempstead, who leads coverage issues at RWJF. “Both state and federal marketplaces are likely to make significant leaps in enrollment as the public becomes more knowledgeable about the new options for coverage that are available to many Americans for the first time.”

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