(Bloomberg) — Obamacare-loving California led the nation in embracing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and in enrolling its citizens for 2014 PPACA exchange plan coverage.
This year, however, sign-ups for private exchange plans in California, New York and other states that opted to build and run their own insurance markets has stagnated. Yet in more conservative parts of the country that declined to participate and where enrollment is run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) HealthCare.gov system, sign-ups have surged.
That includes Florida, where Gov. Rick Scott opposes the law. After a 2012 Supreme Court decision affirming it, Scott said that “the entire act should have been held invalid.” For 2015, 1.6 million Floridians chose insurance plans sold through the federal HealthCare.gov system, 62 percent more than a year before, according to an analysis by Charles Gaba, a blogger in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., who has accurately predicted enrollment under the law.
The final 2015 enrollment numbers are likely to change. The regular 2015 exchange plan open enrollment period started Nov. 15, was supposed to end Feb. 15 in most of the country, and is now winding down as enrollment period extensions expire. HHS has announced a special enrollment period for people who say they learned about the PPACA individual tax penalty system when they filed their 2014 taxes.
But, at this point, the numbers that are already in look especially strange because California had more uninsured people than any other state in 2013, the year before the health law’s insurance expansions began — 5.8 million, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health research group. About 3.6 million people were uninsured in Florida.