Critics of the Affordable Care Act will not be pleased with the latest quarterly report from the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. The prognosis is good for thousands of Washington residents.
The exchange report, which covers from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2013, saw a surge in enrollments as a Jan. 1 deadline approached. Sign-ups for private health plans jumped from 20,144 in November to 67,198 in December. Not a bad boost in business for the private sector.
Lots was going on. Children under 18 were signed up for dental care. The health exchange’s Silver Plan found 77 percent of enrollees eligible for lower co-pays and deductibles.
Thirty percent of the enrollments in Qualified Health Plans, via private insurers, were in the 18 to 34 age range. Often the folks in this demographic consider themselves too healthy for insurance, but suffer injuries in accidents and recreation. They made the right call seeking out coverage.
For all the good news about lots of newly covered Washington residents, my favorite statistic is practical and procedural. The health benefit exchange had added 200 customer support representatives since Oct. 1, and another 100 to 150 will be added after mid-February. Treat customers right; respect their time.
Washington state is working to make the Affordable Care Act an accessible reality. People are getting insured. They persevered beyond the early glitches, and they are getting the help they need. States that actively avoided connecting their citizens to the options available did them no favor.
Oh, and the story on Fox News, one of the fiercest critics of the health care plan.
Apparently overwhelmed by the soaring costs of visits to the proctologist for help to pull its head out of its, well, Fox News has enrolled in the Affordable Care Act. The network expects to save enough to add another commentator. All good news for the bottom line of certain medical specialists.