Exchange Enrollment Expected to Fall Short of CBO Estimates

An analysis by Avalere finds that exchange enrollment is on track to reach 5.4 million by the end of March when open enrollment is set to end. That number falls short of Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that six million people will enroll in exchanges in 2014. “The Administration is conducting aggressive outreach in March in an effort to boost enrollment.  However, success of exchanges in 2014 will depend less on the size of the market and more on the risk profile of enrollees,” said Caroline Pearson, vice president at Avalere Health.

As many as 4.2 million individuals had enrolled in exchanges through February. In comparison, when the Medicare Part D program began in 2006, 22% of voluntary enrollees signed-up in the final month of coverage. If exchanges follow the same pattern,  1.2 million people are expected to enroll in March.

In January and February, enrollment in federally run exchanges increased faster than enrollment in state-based exchanges, as federal exchanges recovered from early setbacks caused by California, Florida, Idaho, North Carolina, and Washington lead the states in terms of enrollment. Meanwhile, the exchanges of Hawaii, D.C., and Massachusetts, which have struggled with website IT problems, trail the nation in enrollment. “In recent months, enrollment in federally run exchanges has caught-up to the initial enrollment surge in many state-based exchanges. The federal marketplaces have been fixed and now surpass some states in terms of ease of consumer access, eligibility, and functionality,” said Dan Mendelson, CEO of Avalere Health. For more information, visit

Last Updated 12/01/2021

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