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Investors expect 4 million Americans to initially enroll in the state insurance marketplaces created under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, according to a survey released on Monday, as concerns mount that technical glitches could present obstacles to enrollment. The expectations of the investors – hedge funds, institutional clients and other investors surveyed by Citigroup, 56 in total – fall far short of a Congressional Budget Office forecast that 7 million Americans will seek subsidized health coverage through the online exchanges. Starting on Oct. 1, Americans have six months to enroll for coverage in 2014. The progress of enrollment is being closely watched by Wall Street, as the coverage means new paying customers for insurers and hospitals.

Citigroup analysts Gary Taylor and Carl McDonald called the investor projections “modest.” “We are optimistic that final 2014 enrollment will exceed low expectations, propelling” healthcare provider stocks, such as hospitals, the analysts wrote in their report. “Accordingly, we’d be aggressive buyers if initial enrollment is disappointing this fall.”Of the 4 million expected by investors to enroll, 2 million to 3 million are projected to be previously uninsured, according to the survey. The CBO projection includes 4 million previously uninsured people signing up and 3 million enrollees who had been covered through either employer or individual plans, according to the Citigroup note. For the full article click here

Posted 3:49 PM

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