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Enrollment Demographics

There were over 109,000 enrollments in Covered California in October and November. A more recent update from Covered California noted that more than 156,000 individuals enrolled through the first week of December. Of the initial enrollees, 86%  qualified for premium assistance from the federal government. An additional 179,000 people were found to be eligible for Medi-Cal in the first two months of open enrollment.

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A majority of those who enrolled (i.e. selected a plan) were over age 45. Few children and seniors enrolled, as many children are eligible for Medi-Cal and a vast majority of seniors receive Medicare. Many adults 18-25 also have access to private insurance through their parents, thus their limited enrollment in Covered California is not surprising.

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Most enrollees were white, while fewer Latinos enrolled than expected. Providing ethnicity and race information is optional, so the data shown only represents 77% of enrollees and may not fully and accurately capture the population that enrolled.

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Few enrollees completed enrollments in languages other than English; 6.6% enrolled in Asian and Pacific Islander languages, while only 4.6% enrolled in Spanish. This is concerning given California’s large Spanish-speaking population.

Most (61%) enrollees selected silver level plans, while 20% selected bronze, 8% gold, and 10% platinum. The large silver enrollment likely stems from the availability of cost-sharing subsidies exclusively through silver plans. Very few people who qualified for subsidies selected gold or platinum. Individuals who did not qualify for subsidies were more likely to select gold or platinum, and more likely to choose bronze over silver.

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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield led the enrollments with 29.5% and 27.4% of enrollments respectively. Kaiser Permanente and Health Net also signed up large numbers of consumers, totaling 23.7% and 15.6% of enrollments. Less than 4% of enrollees selected small managed care plans, but these plans are only offered in limited geographic areas, while the larger plans are offered throughout most of the state.

There is no data on the previous coverage of enrollees, so it is not known if most were previously uninsured or purchased coverage in the individual market.

For a full breakdown of the enrollment demographics, see Covered California’s news release.

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