California Healthline: 625,000 Enrolled in Health Exchange

by David Gorn

Covered California officials yesterday said more than half a million Californians signed up for exchange coverage that started Jan. 1 and about three-fourths of them have paid their premiums and are officially receiving coverage through the exchange.

About 85% of the new enrollees are eligible for subsidies, according to Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California.

“For those who are not subsidy-eligible, they don’t have to go through the exchange, they can enroll right now in the individual market,” Lee said. “We know that hundreds of thousands [of Californians] are getting coverage directly from health plans rather than going through the exchange.”

Enrollment numbers for the first two weeks of January bring the total to 625,000 Californians who have enrolled for coverage through the exchange.

In the rush toward the Jan. 1 deadline 630,000 Californians were added to Medi-Cal through the Low Income Health Program and another 584,000 were determined to be eligible for Medi-Cal through the exchange portal bringing the total of newly covered Californians to 1.7 million. That number does not include January exchange enrollees or individual signups outside the exchange.

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