State exchanges add 600,000 enrollees

More than 3.4 million selected plan through

More than 600,000 consumers selected a health plan on a state-run Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance exchange as of Dec. 13, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced. HHS also said that 3.4 million consumers selected plans on as of Dec. 15, which was the deadline for enrolling in coverage that began on Jan. 1.

All told, more than 4 million people used an insurance exchange to sign up for an insurance plan in the first month of open enrollment. About half were new customers.

Thirteen states plus the District of Columbia operate their own health insurance exchanges. The overall enrollment figures from the state exchanges were "modest," according to the New York Times.

The article suggested that the Obama administration's efforts to boost Hispanic enrollment and appeal to young people have not succeeded as expected. The same is true of the administration's message that consumers should shop around for health insurance, as the enrollment numbers suggest that well more than half of the 6.7 million Americans who obtained insurance from the exchanges last year opted for automatic re-enrollment.

Numbers from the state exchanges are due to rise, HHS said. Some states extended their enrollment deadline beyond Dec. 15. In addition, California and New York, the largest states running their own exchanges, have yet to provide data on re-enrollment.

Two weeks ago, HHS said that 6.4 million consumers used during open enrollment. That number is higher because it includes consumers who visited the federal exchange site and automatically re-enrolled in addition to those who specifically selected a plan.

For more:
- here's the HHS statement
- read the New York Times article

Related Articles:
ACA open enrollment reaches 6.4 million
ACA has reduced uninsurance rates for minorities
Insurers loosen payment deadlines for ACA plans
With more plans available, prices rising, HHS urging exchange customers to shop around
Insurers think outside the box to boost Hispanic enrollment