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Gaba sees 16 million QHP enrollees

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New Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act programs have helped more than 7 percent of U.S. residents get health coverage this year.

Charles Gaba, a closely watched Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act plan enrollment tracker, is reporting at that he believes at least 6.6 million people have paid for commercial “qualified health plan” coverage through the exchanges or will soon pay for the coverage.

Gaba gets the QHP enrollment figure by taking the government QHP selection totals and assuming 93 percent of the QHP selectors will eventually pay for coverage.

Analysts at the Rand Corp. have estimated, based on survey totals, that another 9 million people have bought QHPs outside the exchange system, Gaba says.

Some have questioned whether Rand’s 9 million off-exchange QHP enrollee figure can be correct, but Gaba says the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association alone has confirmed that its member plans have enrolled at least 1.7 million people in QHPs outside the exchange system.

Gaba used data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and other sources to estimate that 6.6 million people have signed up for Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage as a result of PPACA Medicaid and CHIP changes or as a result of PPACA-funded efforts to bring more people eligible for Medicaid “out of the woodwork.”

Gaba’s 21.7 million PPACA program enrollee total amounts to about 7 percent of the current U.S. population of 314 million.

The total likely will increase considerably once exchanges and insurers count the enrollees who come in April, after the official March 31 close of the individual QHP open enrollment period, Gaba says.

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