MNsure reaches health coverage enrollment goal, sort of

MNsure, the state health care insurance exchange, has exceeded its “goal” of signing up 135,000 people by April 1.

It’s good news, of course, that so many people will now be covered by insurance. But it’s hardly the “See? We told you so” goal that the headlines today might suggest.

The 135,000 goal was set after MNsure’s clunky rollout last October. Previously, the agency had set a goal as high as 178,000 people enrolled for commercial coverage and up to 40,000 for small business coverage.

Those goals were lowered several times — approaching 100,000 at one point — before the goal met this week was selected last October.

According to MNsure’s news release today, MNsure has enrolled 36,176 in a Qualified Health Plan, 27,512 in MinnesotaCare and 73,086 in Medical Assistance.

It had hoped to enroll 70,000 people in private health plans but that didn’t come close to happening. That could be a problem since private enrollment is the main source of funding for the exchange.

Last year, the Legislature projected a 2014 enrollment of between 148,000 and 222,000 for people getting a subsidy and between 13,000 and 39,000 for small groups. It figured between 16,000 and 48,000 people who don’t get a subsidy would sign up for health insurance by the end of this year.