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Some state PPACA exchanges report big gains

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The state-based health insurance exchanges that had more technical problems early on may have seen a bigger private-plan enrollment surge in March.

That pattern emerged this week in early March “qualified health plan” enrollment activity reports that came out Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act individual QHP open enrollment period started Oct. 1 and officially ended March 31 in most of the country.

PPACA exchange program managers are using whether people have picked QHP plans, not whether they have paid for coverage, as the enrollment activity indicator.

A White House official said Tuesday that PPACA exchange system as a whole had at least taken in QHP selection information for at least 7.1 million people by the end of the official open enrollment period — up 69 percent from the total recorded March 1.

Enrollment increased sharply at some locally managed exchanges that had notoriously poor enrollment numbers in the fall.

In the District of Columbia, for example, the number of QHP selectors soared to 40,234, from 6,249 a month earlier.

Enrollment also increased sharply at some other exchanges known for having enrollment system problems: 58 percent in Maryland, to 60,003; 47 percent in Minnesota, to 47,046; and 42 percent in Nevada, to 40,498.

Increases were more moderate in several states with exchanges that had a reputation for starting off strong: 32 percent in Colorado, to 118,628; 35 percent in Kentucky, to 77,027; and 35 percent in Washington state, to 146,000.

In New York, where the exchange board kept a low profile and published no detailed operational reports while open enrollment was under way, the number of QHP selectors increased to 412,101 March 31, up 68 percent from the March 1 total. 

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