Washington State: ACA drops uninsured rate by 40%, from 970K down to 600K

Hat Tip To: 
Bill R

WOW!! This article from last week is chock full of data-nuggety goodness, including the first solid updates out of Washington State in some time:

The share of Washingtonians going without health insurance has fallen by nearly 40 percent, thanks to factors put in play by the federal Affordable Care Act.

That’s the word from the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner, which estimates that the overall 970,000 of uninsured residents had fallen by 38 percent to about 600,000. That drops the uninsured rate to 8.65 percent of the state, down from about 14 percent, OIC spokeswoman Stephanie Marquis said Wednesday.

...OIC has said the individual market has grown to more than 327,000 – which was about 81,000 more insured people than were in the individual market on Oct. 1, the date that the Washington Health Benefit Exchange opened for enrollments for 2014 coverage. The individual market included 156,155 people buying private insurance policies through the exchange and 171,286 who bought policies outside the exchange.

The online exchange portal at Wahealthplanfinder.org is also a new way for low-income families to sign up for Medicaid. And it appears from data released this week by the state Health Care Authority that Medicaid is now serving 345,766 people who became newly eligible under the Affordable Care Act. Beth Luce, spokeswoman for the HCA, said data through July 10 showed an additional 190,865 new Medicaid enrollees who were already eligible before federal health care reform.

The 156K exchange-based and 171K off-exchange QHP numbers were already mentioned over a month ago; those only run through June 1st, and the 156K number is about 10K lower than the official number from a few days earlier (166K) because it takes into account attrition (ie, how many are currently paying for exchange-based QHPs) instead of just measuring the cumulative total number of paid enrollments.

However, the net reduction in the uninsured of 370,000 people is new, and is extremely impressive.

Meanwhile, the Medicaid numbers are very much new. In fact, the last update I had on Washington State's Medicaid tally was way back on March 31st, so this is welcome news!

At the time, WA had 285K "strict expansion" Medicaid additions and 138K "Woodworkers". These numbers have jumped by over 60,000 and 53,000 respectively since the end of March.