U.S. health care enrollment surges

THE WASHINGTON POST

After anemic enrollment in the new health insurance marketplaces in October, states have started to see a much faster pace of sign-ups in November, prompting health policy researchers to announce a “November surge.”

By the end of October, the federal government had counted 106,000 people enrolled into private coverage through the 14 new state-based marketplaces and the federal marketplace, a small percentage of the projected 500,000 sign-ups.

By mid-November, though, with the state marketplaces reporting fresh data, that number had just about doubled to more than 200,000.

“The latest enrollment figures from the 14 states that are running their own marketplaces show that enrollment has climbed to at least 200,000 people nationwide,” Sara Collins and Tracy Garber wrote Friday for the Commonwealth Fund. “This latest figure does not account for any new enrollment in the federal marketplaces in 36 states, which is also likely to have increased since early November.”

News of the surge comes as the Department of Health and Human Services announced it is giving people an extra week in December to sign up for coverage that begins at the start of the new year.