Latest Numbers in Obamacare

Published 02/19 2014 02:08PM

Updated 02/19 2014 02:24PM

From website troubles to dozens of changes in the Healthcare act, many people wonder if enough people will sign up to fund Obamacare.

January enrollment numbers are out and the data shows 1.1 million Americans enrolled under the Affordable Care Act last month.

WFFT's Audra Streetman has been looking at these latest numbers and has more in "Obamacare Checkup".

New data released from the White House shows fewer Obamacare signups in January compared to December.  Which isn't a huge surprise.  If you recall, the Obama Administration re-booted the website at the start of December so some of the enrollment numbers from that month could be from consumers who couldn't get on the site in November.

At least 4.7 million Americans have seen their health insurance policies canceled and so far at least 3.3 million Americans have now signed up for health insurance under Obamacare.

More young people enrolled for insurance in January than in previous months.  In fact, about a quarter of people who signed up are ages 18-34.  That's lower than the 40% share that the White House had initially predicted.

"The number of younger enrollees is a crucial metric since insurers want to attract healthier individuals to balance out older, sicker enrollees.  If too many high-cost people enroll, it could cause 2015 premiums to jump."

January numbers also show that most enrollees are buying mid-tier "silver" plans.  On average, these plans pay about 80% of medical costs.  Even with these new statistics, some important questions remain unanswered. website, the Obama Administration made a number of changes to the Healthcare Law.  In an article, Forbes Magazine lists 35 changes the Affordable Care Act including a delay to the individual mandate.

In October, the Obama Administration changed the deadline for the individual mandate from mid-February to March 31st.

In November, the Administration made a change allowing insurance companies to re-offer canceled plans that previous regulations forced them to cancel.

In February, the Administration delayed the employer mandate, postponing enforcement of the requirement for medium-size employers until 2016 and relaxing some requirements for larger employers.

Here in Indiana, just under 48,000 Hoosiers have signed up for Obamacare.  That's about 39% of the projected 122,000 enrollees.  Republicans in Congress who are opposed to Obamacare are considering new legislation called the American Healthcare Reform Act.

Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, a Democrat said to WFFT in a statement, "I think it's better to work in a bipartisan manner to improve parts of the law that need fixing so it works better for Hoosier families.  We need to start by defining full-time employees as those working 40 hours a week and repealing the medical device tax."

The Congressional Budget Office now projects that about 6 million people will enroll in health-exchange coverage this year.  That number is down from the previous estimate of 7 million.  Health care enrollment continues through the end of March.

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