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California exchange sign-ups accelerate

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Covered California managers say activity there is picking up steam.

The exchange saw residents file a total of 97,494 applications for 177,331 people in October.

The exchange found that 72,007 people in the applicant pool are eligible for the state’s expanded Medicaid program.

Another 30,830 people have signed up for private “qualified health plan” coverage through the exchange. Only 4,852 of those applicants are eligible for the new PPACA premium tax credit subsidy. The other 25,978 applicants signed up for coverage without subsidies.

From Nov. 1 through Nov. 12, the number of people signing up for QHP coverage totaled 29,000, or about 2,400 per day. The daily average was up from a daily average of about 1,000 per day in October, Lee said.

“We’re very pleased with the results,” Lee said.

Lee said the California sign-up numbers include people who’ve chosen plans but haven’t necessarily paid for coverage.

“They have plenty of time to pay for coverage,” Lee said, noting that the deadline for coverage starting Jan. 1 is Dec. 26.

Lee said Covered California would like to get 500,000 people who are eligible for Medicaid or subsidized QHP coverage to enroll by March 31.

Starting in January, the “paid enrollment” number will matter less, and the numbers that will really matter will be the number who have live coverage and the number who are actually using it to get health care, Lee said.

Covered California also released insurance agent and enrollment counselor certification numbers.

The number of counselors certified increased to 1,043, from 619.

The number of agents certified increased to 5,685, up from 3,143 Oct. 26.

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