DENVER (AP) – More than 270,000 Coloradans got health insurance in time to comply with the new health law, state authorities announced Tuesday.
The state health insurance exchange, called Connect For Health Colorado, said that almost 119,000 bought private insurance and another 156,000 signed up for Medicaid.
The tally exceeded Colorado’s baseline requirement of 50,000 enrollments to make the exchange self-funding.
Colorado’s private insurance enrollment was shy of the exchange’s midrange goal of 136,000, though exchange officials have noted that some signups are still in processing and there’s another short open-enrollment period at the end of the year.
“While we are proud of the accomplishment, we recognize that this is part of a longer journey to get Coloradans covered,” exchange CEO Patty Fontneau said in a statement Tuesday.
It was not immediately clear how many of the people buying private insurance were uninsured before open enrollment began in October.
Folks who missed the Monday deadline to even begin signing up for insurance will now have to wait until November to buy subsidized insurance, unless they have a life-changing event such as a new job.
As in other states, Colorado saw a flurry of last-minute signups as the deadline approached to meet the mandate to have insurance or face a federal fine.
“I saw it on the news and knew I had to sign up or get fined,” said Les Madden, a 27-year-old from Denver who waited in a 90-minute line Monday to sign up for insurance.
The Obama administration says Tuesday that more than 7 million people nationwide signed up for health care through insurance exchanges.
As in Colorado, the administration has not provided a demographic breakdown of the enrollment numbers and does not identify which enrollees already had insurance.
– By Kristen Wyatt, AP Writer