Signups for health insurance plans through California's state-run marketplace, Covered California, hit an all-time record on the final day of open enrollment with more than 50,000 people completing enrollment on April 15, state officials said on Thursday.
Overall, more than 3 million Californians signed up for health coverage during its first-ever open enrollment period, which began on Oct. 1.
Of those, about 1.4 million enrolled in private plans sold through Covered California, with 88 percent qualifying for federal tax subsidies. Consumers can chose to take those subsidies as a reduction in their monthly insurance premium or at tax time.
Another 1.9 million Californians signed up for low- or no-cost health insurance through Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program, which was expanded under the Affordable Care Act. Enrollment in Medi-Cal is open year-round to those who make less than about $16,000 a year.
The coveted demographic of 18-to-34-year-olds — who make up about a quarter of the state's population — represented about 36 percent of new enrollees. This is seen as good news for the health law, which needs this often-healthier age group to help balance the risk pool and keep costs down.
By contrast, Latino enrollment — at 28 percent of the total — fell short of expectations. Latinos make up more than half of the state's uninsured population.
Covered California officials also reported higher-than-expected rate of enrollment for Asian-Americans, at 21 percent, while African-Americans met enrollment expectations at 3 percent.
And while this was the third final deadline for enrollment this year, there's still a loophole: This week is the beginning of the special enrollment period, during which those who lose job-based insurance, get married or divorced or experience a few other life-changing events can still enroll in a new private health insurance plan through the exchange.
Open enrollment for 2015 begins next November.