1.4 million get Calif. Obamacare

President Obama

President Obama releases final numbers for Affordable Care Act signups at White House.

Almost 1.4 million Californians signed up for Obamacare policies during the first open enrollment period, a figure that well exceeded state goals.

Nationally, 8 million people signed up for private health insurance via the Affordable Care Act, President Obama announced April 17.

“This thing is working,” Obama said at a White House press briefing.

Covered California led with the big number in its wrap-up, saying “more than 3 million California consumers enrolled in health insurance plans or in Medi-Cal by April 15.”

The California Obamacare operation saw its biggest day on record April 15, with more than 50,000 signing up and selecting health plans.

Both the federal and California operations stressed participation by young adults (18 to 34 years old), considering vital to the overall fiscal health of Obamacare. In California, the percentage of signups was 29 percent. Nationally, the White House said, the figure was 28 percent.

California’s other closely watched demographic, Hispanics, was put at 28 percent. Participation by those identified as Latinos increased in the past month at a rate of 30 percent, Covered California said.

Almost 9 in 10 of those using the California Obamacare operation received some kind of subsidy. About 6 in 10 signed up for the “Silver” metal level of coverage.

The big health care carriers took the lion’s share of business in the first six months of enrollment, as expected: Anthem Blue Cross (30 percent), Blue Shield (27 percent), Health Net (19 percent) and Kaiser Permanente (17 percent).

The Congressional Budget Office predicts the number of uninsured citizens will drop by 12 percent this year. “Up to 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions — including up to 17 million children — no longer have to worry about being denied health coverage or charged higher premiums because of their health status,” the White House said.

Covered California chief Peter Lee said: “We are proud of what California has achieved, but recognize this is only the beginning of a long road of expanding affordable coverage to all Californians.”

Obama said: “We’re going to keep on doing what we’re doing, which is making this work.”

While the numbers represent a remarkable turnaround, the launch of Obamacare was deeply troubled at the national level. As a result, Kathleen Sebelius resigned as head of the Department of Health and Human Services, and is being replaced by Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

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