Commonwealth Fund Thinks 21% of October Health Exchange Visitors Enrolled in A Plan. This is Either Good or Bad News for Obama

Here is a link to the study, via Information Week.  Here is the key chart:

click to enlarge


First, this includes people who signed up for Medicare, which is a good chunk of the state exchange signups to date.  Signing uninsured up for Medicare is meaningless, as they don't even need to be signed up to get the benefit (a hospital will enroll them if they were to come in for a visit).

Second, this is either very good news or very bad news for the Administration.

If true, which I seriously doubt, it would mean that the exchanges are a wild success.  A 21% conversion rate would be awesome even for a private retail web site, and would likely imply over a million enrollments in October.

However, there is a very good chance that in fact this is very bad news.  Since this is based on survey data, it means that 21% THINK they enrolled.  But what very well may have happened is that they eventually were successful in creating a user account, and believe that having an exchange user account means they are enrolled for insurance, which is clearly not true.

We shall see.



  1. Stephen Spero:

    Did you mean Medicaid?

  2. James gaulte:

    I believe you meant to write "Medicaid" rather than "Medicare" It is true one does not have to go to an exchange to sign up for Medicaid.

  3. Harry:

    I think you mean Medicaid, Coyote.

  4. Harry:

    Regarding this massive sign up for Medicaid, do Coyote or any others know whether the standards for qualifying were relaxed by ACA (UCA?) or by other laws or administrative action ?

    I thought the poor already got Medicaid. So who are these new enrollees? Surfer boys?

  5. LoneSnark:

    He did mean medicaid. And yes, the ACA medicaid expansion extends medicaid to the poor without children. But keep in mind, some states opted out of the medicaid expansion.

  6. mlhouse:

    I doubt the 21% number is true even if you include Medicaid.

    However, a 21% conversion rate would not be "awesome" for a private website if all consumers were compelled to purchase something from your website. Just saying.