Keep an Eye on Obamacare's Strong Enrollment Trend

In this video from Friday's Market Checkup, Motley Fool health-care analyst David Williamson tells investors in the health-care sector why he has his eye on the Obamacare enrollment numbers at the moment.

So far, 800,000 people have signed up for private health plans through Obamacare in January, which boosts the total enrollment to 3 million with a week to go in the month. This shows that despite not reaching the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' original enrollment expectations for January because of healthcare.gov's rocky rollout, there is no lull in enrollment momentum, as the pace continues to remain strong in 2014.

David looks in this segment at why managed-care insurers such as WellPoint (NYSE: WLP  ) , which have a large exchange footprint, should benefit as enrollment continues upward.

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  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2014, at 11:02 PM, jmgconsultants wrote:

    Just because someone enrolls, it does not mean that they have coverage. They must pay their first premium and pay their deductible before their coverage begins. And if these numbers are coming out of the White house then you know at best it is suspect and at the most a big fat lie. There is no credibility from this White House and this President .

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2014, at 12:27 AM, JePonce wrote:

    The improvement will no doubt be dynamic.

    Obama uses the math model established by Common Core. You get credit for a wrong answer on a math problem, so long as you can verbally explain how you got the wrong answer.

    Everyone knows a community activist is a talker, unless the teleprompter dies.

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2014, at 1:12 AM, bsrealist wrote:

    LOL. I think the author needs to rethink the article. There is NO trend. There is an enrollment process, which does NOT mean a trend of any means.

    It reminds me of FB ads, and "like". Does it mean because you "like" it, that it is a sale at the register?

    Furthermore, when the so called power to be , who are masters of smoke and mirrors, give the TRUE numbers, lets revisit this subject. True numbers? Yes, the ones of this spectacular trend, who are actually going to be net premium payers, not Medicaid expanders.

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2014, at 6:47 AM, wildgifts wrote:

    Call it a "trend" if you like, but if you take a common sense view it's no surprise the numbers spiked. Why? Because over 4 million people who obviously wanted insurance--because they already had it--were forced to replace it because they lost their coverage. Liberal pundits try to blame the insurance companies, liberal politicians try to say the policies were "junk" or "substandard", but in many, if not most, cases, the policies were better than what one finds in the exchanges. Those policies didn't meet the minimum standards of the ACA, which means paying for things you will never, ever use (male maternity benefits, e.g.) Before anyone calls this a "trend", more information is needed to do an objective analysis. The critical numbers to do that have yet to be released, among them age distribution of policyholders, percentage who have actually paid, percentage who previously had coverage, etc. ad nauseum.

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2014, at 8:27 AM, Squirrel93256 wrote:

    Obama supporters will go hysterical over this well sourced list of 545 examples of his lying, lawbreaking, corruption, cronyism, etc. http://danfromsquirrelhill.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/obama-25...

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2014, at 8:34 AM, wildgifts wrote:

    I just reread this article and it's even more ridiculous the second time through. The author says that January won't meet the projections "because of healthcare.gov's rocky rollout". Is the author saying the website's still broken? Supposedly it's not, so if anything, that should increase demand instead of push it the other way. In other words, if there was this massive demand that wasn't met in the first two months, why isn't it showing up now that the site is fixed? The answer is that most of the people signing up (according to polls since HHS won't tell us) are replacing coverage instead of taking it out for the first time. It would be nice if writers didn't let their ideology get in the way of actual reporting.

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2014, at 9:51 AM, sabebrush6 wrote:

    Obamacare and strong is an oxymoron.

    It's weak and pathetic.

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2014, at 9:59 AM, Mathman6577 wrote:

    The trend in "enrollment" may be up but over the long term the trend will be a decline in overall healthcare in the country. We are measuring the wrong thing.

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2014, at 1:04 PM, PaulSell wrote:

    Minimum Wage (2% of employed) Pot Legalization (appealing to millennials to ease their economic pain), Income inequality (which has risen sharply under Barry's administration) and all to avoid the 2 elephants in the room. JOBS & Welcome to OB☭M☭C☭RE ●! The Liberals that now have to live with that albatross hanging around their socialist necks and STILL have to convince the soft headed millennials into another suicide vote for them again. Maybe Barry & Company can chat up Pot Legalization and Income Inequality while avoiding their chances at even getting a job, just to encourage them into believing that the Dems are actually going to make their lives so much better. OB☭M☭C☭RE ● NOW has DEATH SPIRAL written all over it. I do hope the Republicans are meeting with Insurance Companies, as I write, figuring out how to defuse this Economic time bomb when they regain the Senate in 2014.

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2014, at 2:02 PM, Chaseagee wrote:

    3 million signed up 4.9 million lost their insurance. There are no numbers of how many of the ones that lost insurance signed up. If they had not lost their insurance they obviously would not have signed up. And how many who went on Medicaid that would have gone on anyway. And what is the exact number of people under 35 who generally don't get sick and are supposed to pay more than they use to cover the ones with preexisting conditions.

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2014, at 4:45 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    The CBO projections were that out of the 28M UNINSURED 7M would sign up by the enrollment deadline ! the keyword here is UNINSURED !

    Now according to recent statistics only 11% of the 3M who enrolled were previously uninsured which translates into 360000 people and those are the only number you can count against the 7M CBO estimate !

    The remaining 2.7M enrolled are meaningless because they simply been shuffled around from one health plan to another mostly because they lost their old coverage either because their employer decided to no longer offer health insurance or because their insurance carrier cancelled the plan because it was not ACA compliant !

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2014, at 5:06 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    This is the problem with journalists like david , they are no longer critical of the numbers but merely repeat the numbers they receive from HHS !

    So let me do davids job here and break this down .

    The goal of the ACA was to extend coverage to the 28M uninsured in this country therefore the ONLY the number of previously uninsured can and should be counted to measure the success of

    obamacare !

    So far only 360000 people who signed up were

    previously uninsured , only 4.8% of the 7M UNINSURED the CBO had projected to sign up and only 1.28% of the total uninsured population.

    So why did not more people sign up ?

    either because the number of the uninsured was intentionally grossly overstated, people still cant afford the rates the "affordable" care act plans offer or people don't see the need to sign up for insurance, whatever the reason might be 1.2% is by no means a sign of a hughe demand as democrats would like the people to believe !

    The other number that should have people worried is the 22% of 18-34 year olds who signed up and off course no statistics seem to exist on just how many of those 18-34 year olds are actually HEALTHY but I have a gut feeling that the majority of the ones who did sign up has some medical problems !

    The numbers obviously so far are bad enough for the CEO of AETNA to warn of major rate hikes for 2015 or even of a complete withdrawal of AETNA from the exchanges !

    Aetna is set to release their 2015 premiums on May 15th and rumor has it that premiums will rise by 17-25% , if this is correct than this will be another blow to the ACA and congressional democrats in a election year !

  • Report this Comment On January 28, 2014, at 6:16 PM, KevinO3826 wrote:

    This article represents what is wrong with our media. They are making assumptions which we know are false. I heard the labor secretary on TV today trying to throw out a 10 million number like that was the number that is signing up. Once again totally false.

    People keep saying Obamacare bent the cost curve. That also is false. The downturn in the economy bent the cost curve.

    A lot of numbers have been thrown out to make Obamacare look positive. Those numbers just do not seem to true.

  • Report this Comment On January 29, 2014, at 10:40 AM, sogole wrote:

    People are living from pay check to pay check,and they cannot afford the premiums.

  • Report this Comment On January 29, 2014, at 3:53 PM, asICit wrote:

    Time to stop drinking the Kool-Aid, David!

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