Bloomberg) — More than 1 million people waited until the last five days to sign up for individual “qualified health plan” (QHP) coverage through the new public exchange system.
Early indications are that many Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) plan procrastinators were young, insurance analysts and enrollment groups said.
That may be good news for health insurers. Insurers have been conceerned about signs that the early PPACA exchange “qualified health plan” (QHP) enrollees were older and sicker than expected.
The official PPACA individual QHP open enrollment period started Oct. 1 in most of the country and officially ended in most of the country Monday.
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Insurance companies hope the last-minute volume brought in younger and healthier customers, according to Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans.
“There has always been the assumption that those with urgent medical needs would sign up first and that the young and healthy would sign up at the end,” he said yesterday in an e- mail. “We’ll find out soon if that hypothesis was true.”
QHP watchers expect the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to release at least some QHP enrollee demographic information later this month.
Groups working on enrollment provided anecdotal evidence that the latecomers were younger than than the consumers who signed up earlier.
In Alabama, Daniel Liss, the co-founder of Bama Covered, which coordinated student volunteers to promote enrollment, said many of the initial applicants in his state were women. Latecomers tended to be male and young.