The Minnesota Obamacare Exchange has once again been forced to lower their estimate of how many people will enroll.
So, as a state that enthusiastically participated in Obamacare, the powers that be in Minnesota confidently predicted last year that they would be able to enroll 297,000 people through the state’s insurance exchange.
Presumably, part of the reason for that number is the researched finding that almost 300,000 people or households need that insurance. I’m curious why people who need insurance wouldn’t get it, especially since there are penalties attached to not being insured. (Oh, sorry. Did I say “penalties”? I meant a tax, of course.) I wonder why people who need insurance would opt out of buying it. Perhaps they can’t afford it?
Then, last November, the Minnesota Obamacare exchange, MNsure, reduced their projection to not much over a third of their original estimate: 107,000.
But now, a few months later, they have downgraded again. We are told that we are to expect only 95,000 enrollees through the Minnesota Obamacare exchange.
According to the Daily Caller:
The Minnesota health exchange, one of just a handful of state-run exchanges, has faced technology hangups for years and is still facing financial problems. A failure to meet past enrollment goals isn’t helping, either. By cutting the enrollment goal by 12,000 paying customers, the exchange will take in $1.2 million less next year.
In Minnesota, like many other states, the exchange is trying to fund its ongoing operations by a fee placed on the health insurance plans it sells. Customers pay 3.5 percent extra on top of their insurance premium each month.
MNsure’s budget will be $3.1 million lower than it was in January and the board cut its spending on other expenses Thursday. They’ll spend $700,000 less on “navigators” for the Obamacare exchange. Board member Thomas Forsythesaid that they’d been “overbudgeting on that line and underspending.”
Nationwide, Obamacare enrollment has grown significantly in 2015 but hasn’t met the Congressional Budget Office’s projections yet. The CBO predicted that the exchanges will cover 12 million people this year (after lowering an original 12 million projection) and the Obama administration says 11.7 million have signed up, beating its 9.1 to 9.9 million goal.
Of course, once you drop the projections low enough, it is easy to beat your goal. It will be interesting to see how the mainstream press covers the number of enrollees once we reach 2016. My suspicion is that they will try to portray the low numbers as a success by ignoring the original projections.