So, Who is Signing Up for Obamacare?

Oct 12, 2013

Kevin Counihan, CEO of Access Health CT.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's been two weeks since enrollment began under the new health insurance law known as Obamacare. First, the numbers. Connecticut has about 344,000 people without health insurance. Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, was designed to lower that number.

So far, just under 2,000 applications have been processed, and, if you include dependents, that could mean roughly 3,000 new people with insurance.

Kevin Counihan runs Access Health CT, the state insurance marketplace. He says the numbers are interesting; but so is the information about the new enrollees. "First of all," he said, "the split is about 55 percent/45 percent between the qualified health plan enrollees and Medicaid."

Translation: just under half of the new enrollees are signing up for state health care for the poor. More than half are signing up for new, private insurance policies. And for those who are buying it on their own, Counihan said, "It's roughly 50/50, for those between people getting subsidies and people without subsidies."

Counihan said more people than expected are picking the more expensive plans, and more young people than expected are signing up, too. Counihan emphasized that it's early, still, and the demographic splits he sees today could well change. "States, whether it's California or Connecticut, have been surprised by the degree of early take up," he said. "But we still think the vast, vast bulk of our enrollment is going to be between Thanksgiving and early December."

December 15 is the application deadline if you want coverage to start in early January.