According to the Colorado Health Exchange’s own internal documents, the point at which Connect for Health Colorado would be viable, as of yesterday, was 136,300.  That was a midline projection.  Today, The Denver Post reported that the exchange had enrolled a paltry 118,000 private insurance members, which is 18,000 fewer than necessary to make the health insurance scheme self-sustaining.  According to The Denver Post in November:

As federal startup grants taper off under Obamacare funding, the exchange is meant to pay for itself with per-member charges on the private insurance companies offering policies. It needs 136,300 enrollees in 2014 to raise $6.5 million of its $51.4 million expenses.

But, don’t worry, there are plenty of excuses for why the exchange missed its viability numbers by approximately 13%. From The Denver Post:
  • Those who started their applications prior to the deadline but were unable to complete it will be given more time (until the exchange gets to 136,300, we presume).
  • Patty Fontneau will personally stalk young, healthy people into signing up, as we reported earlier today.
  • It’s actually next year that the exchange will be self-sustaining, not this year as promised and as forecast.
Here’s the problem with the excuses and rationales. The exchange has yet to meet a goal.  This missed goal was a big one – right now, the exchange is not viable as the federal government eases its subsidies.  But, the real question here – did the exchange enroll a high enough percentage of the young and healthy in order to offset the natural inclination of the exchange to be full of older, sicker patients?  So far, the exchange hasn’t released that data, but we suspect that may be an additional issue that will compromise the viability of the exchange.