More Americans than predicted may decide to flock to the new public exchanges for health coverage come 2014.
Estimates from 19 states operating health insurance exchanges show that at least 8.5 million consumers plan to buy insurance through exchanges in those states, a prediction far outpacing what the Congressional Budget Office has projected, according to a new USA Today survey reported Tuesday.
CBO analysts predicted that there would be 7 million new participants in exchanges across all 50 states.
USA Today contacted all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and 19 jurisdictions shared estimates for how many of their uninsured residents they expect will buy through the exchanges.
California alone reported it expects to sign up 5.3 million people. The survey did not mention other state-created projections from other large states, such as Texas.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the department in charge of setting up the exchange program, typically starts with CBO figures when talking about how big the program might grow.