The Corner

Washington Has Enrolled Almost Nine Times as Many People in Medicaid as in Private Plans

Obamacare’s defenders often point to states like Washington to prove that the law is succeeding. However, the Evergreen State is signing up vastly more people for Medicaid than for private insurance.

Through the first two months of enrollment, Healthplanfinder, the state’s health-care exchange, has enrolled 176,468 Washingtonians in coverage. Over 91,000 are newly eligible for expanded Medicaid and more than 66,000 were currently eligible but were not enrolled. That leaves only 18,131 residents who purchased private policies.

Altogether, that means that eight-and-a-half times as many people have signed up for Medicaid as have enrolled in private insurance.

An additional 43,000 people have completed applications for private plans but have yet to submit payment, which is due by December 23 for coverage that begins on January 1, 2014.

Officials have projected that roughly 130,000 people will purchase private insurance plans by New Year’s Day. Current private-plan enrollment amounts to about 14 percent of that goal.

Meanwhile, the exchange website went offline for repairs from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday evening. Users had been experiencing errors on Monday and Tuesday. 

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