WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- An analysis of 12 state-based marketplaces of public information found since Oct. 1 about 3 percent of expected participants enrolled, a U.S. consultant says.
Avalere Health, an advisory services company that creates innovative solutions to healthcare problems, found in the 12 states about 49,100 people in state-based marketplaces were enrolled in individual health insurance plans. By the end of 2014, Avalere projects these states will account for 1.4 million exchange enrollees.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is expected to release initial exchange enrollment figures this week for the 36 states that decided not to produce their own state marketplace and have its citizens with no health insurance or those who currently buy their own health insurance purchase policies under the federal marketplace on HealthCare.gov.
The analysis includes Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. It excludes California, which has only released the number of started applications, and Massachusetts, which is requiring current Connector participants to re-enroll.
"Enrollment in new programs begins slowly and often takes several months to build momentum," said Dan Mendelson, chief executive officer of Avalere Health. "While initial enrollment has been lagging, with aggressive marketing there is still time for awareness of the program to grow and participation to begin."
Vermont had the highest proportion of expected enrollees at 12 percent, followed by Rhode Island at 11 percent and the state of Washington at 7 percent. The District of Columbia had the lowest amount of people buying health insurance at 1 percent.
When Medicare Part D -- the prescription drug plan for seniors -- began one month before the deadline for coverage on Jan. 1, 2006, only 10 percent of voluntary Part D enrollees had signed up, but once Medicare Part D began, two-thirds of people enrolled in a plan did so after coverage began on Jan. 1, the report said.
Exchange open enrollment runs from Oct. 1, 3012, to March 31, 2014.