As of the end of 2013, Maine hit nearly 60% of its goal.
Since the launch of healthcare.gov on Oct. 1, 2013 through Dec. 28, 2013, 13,704 Maine residents selected a health plan through the federal government’s gateway for the marketplaces in Maine and 35 other states, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That’s an eightfold increase compared to the month of November.
With 23,000 signups projected for 2014 (as reported by acasignups.net), those 13,704 are 59.58% of the goal.
Now, to be sure, people buying those policies skew old. The demographic mix should improve for the system to work as designed.
As the Washington Post reports:
The proportion of young people — 24 percent overall — “is lower than would be ideal,” said Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, which completed a study last month showing that 40 percent of the U.S. population that could benefit from the new insurance marketplaces are 18 to 34 years old. But Levitt called the proportion “an encouraging number,” given that 2 1/2 months remain for people to enroll for coverage this year and that the federal online system, HealthCare.gov had defects that prevented many people from signing up for much of the fall.
Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s main trade group, said the impact of who buys coverage “is more a continuum than a cliff” and pointed out that insurance prices are influenced by both the age of customers and how much health care they need. “The more young, healthy people participating, the more stable the marketplace will be, and the more affordable coverage will be.”
After Romneycare was launched, young people took longer to sign up. We’ll have to wait and see if that happens with the Affordable Care Act as well.
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