About 179,000 Washington residents enrolled in health-insurance coverage through Healthplanfinder, the state’s online insurance marketplace, during the first two months of open enrollment.
The vast majority, nearly 160,000, enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program, Apple Health, according to a report released Thursday by the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, which operates Healthplanfinder.
About 20,000 enrolled in Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) that insurance carriers are selling on Healthplanfinder.
That figure is higher than the 6,351 who enrolled in QHPs by the end of October, but it remains far short of the 130,000 that the exchange has projected to enroll in QHPs by the end of 2013.
Consumers hoping to enroll in health insurance through Healthplanfinder face a Dec. 23 deadline for coverage that begins Jan. 1, 2014. However, the open enrollment period for 2014 lasts until March 31, 2014.
Among the QHP enrollees, about 16,000 qualified for federal tax credits to offset the cost of coverage.
In addition to completed enrollments, another 54,000 residents completed applications for QHPs. By the end of November, those people still needed to submit payment information to complete their enrollment.
Another 72,000 residents started applications that were still “in process” at the end of November.
Exchange officials said Thursday they had anticipated that Medicaid enrollments would outpace QHP enrollments, especially during the first two months of open enrollment
One reason is that enrolling in Medicaid does not require an individual to make a payment, whereas enrolling in a QHP does.
But the exchange has noted a surge of QHP enrollments in December, Chief of Staff Pam McEwan told the exchange board at its monthly meeting Thursday, when the latest enrollment figures were released.
Young adults ages 18 to 34 made up about 18 percent of those who enrolled in QHPs through November, whereas 55 to 64 year olds made up more than 40 percent of QHP enrollments.
About 60 percent of people who bought plans on Healthplanfinder chose plans at the “silver” level, which is the middle tier for coverage.