Obamacare enrollment in L.A. tops New York, most other states

Dozens of people lined up for Affordable Care Act policies in Panorama City in late March to beat the health law's enrollment deadline.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

More than 400,000 people in Los Angeles County signed up for Obamacare coverage in the health law’s first open enrollment, surpassing turnout in most states.

Federal data released Thursday show that if the Los Angeles area was a state, it would have the fourth-highest enrollment in the country.

It would trail only California, Florida and Texas. In the final weeks of enrollment, the L.A. area and its 400,889 enrollees overtook New York state, which had 370,451 health plan customers through April 19.


Among other states, North Carolina enrolled 357,584 people in health plans, Illinois reported 217,492 and Washington signed up 163,207.

The overall tally for California through April 19 was 1.41 million people, according to the Obama administration. That number was only about 9,000 higher than what the Covered California exchange reported two weeks ago.

The Golden State accounted for 17.5% of the nation’s overall enrollment of 8 million people in federal and state exchanges. Those figures don’t include people who purchased individual health policies outside government marketplaces.

In California, 89% of exchange customers qualified for federal premium subsidies. That’s slightly higher than the nationwide figure of 85% receiving financial assistance.

The share of young adults, ages 18 to 34, signing up was nearly 30% in both California and the country as a whole.

With open enrollment wrapped up, health insurers are rushing to get thousands of new customers into the system.

Insurers are vowing to do better after getting swamped by a flood of sign-ups in late December from people wanting coverage that started Jan. 1.