by Edmund F. Haislmaier, Drew Gonshorowski
The Heritage Foundation
July 28, 2014
New data show that the number of people who have private health insurance increased by just over 520,000 in the six months between October 1, 2013, and March 31, 2014. Almost all the gains in individual coverage through the Obamacare exchanges were offset by reduced enrollment in employer-sponsored group coverage. During the same period, Medicaid enrollment increased by about 5 million, principally as a result of Obamacare expanding eligibility to able-bodied adults without dependent children. Because of delays in the exchanges processing enrollments and a “surge” in exchange applications in March, it is possible that a further 3 million to 4 million individuals may have gained individual coverage since March 1. However, even if that is the case, and even if there is no further erosion in employer coverage, more than half of any increase in coverage during 2014 will still be due to Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid.