Enrollment in the new health insurance exchanges continued to rise in January, with a 53% increase in overall enrollment over the prior three-month reporting period and young adult enrollment rising faster than all other age groups combined, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Nearly 3.3 million people had enrolled in an insurance plan through the exchanges, a core component of the Affordable Care Act, by Feb. 1. January accounted for 1.1 million plan selections in the state and federal exchanges.
In January, 27% of those who selected plans in the federal exchange were between the ages of 18 and 34, an increase of three percentage points over the figure reported for the previous three-month period.
According to previous reports, the administration hopes about 40% of enrollees will be young adults to keep premiums stable in future years. The hope is that most young adults thinking about enrolling will wait until closer to the March 31 deadline for choosing a health insurance plan for 2014.
How many of the 3.3 million previously were uninsured is unclear. The Congressional Budget Office recently projected that 6 million people would obtain insurance through the exchanges and 8 million through Medicaid in 2014. The net gain would be 13 million since some of those people already would have had individual insurance policies, according to the CBO.
Young adult enrollment grew by 65% in January, from 489,460 at the end of December to 807,515 as of Feb. 1, according to the HHS report, while all other age groups combined grew by 55%.
Of the almost 3.3 million who have enrolled, 55% are female, 31% are age 34 and under, 25% are ages 18 to 34, 62% selected a Silver plan and 82% selected a plan and are eligible to receive subsidies.