of Obamacare Enrollees
The Washington Post
Health insurers and individuals began reporting a trickle of enrollments in the new online marketplaces created by the healthcare law, as federal and state officials scrambled to try to fix technical problems that have prevented many consumers from buying coverage.
The White House has declined to release any national statistics on sign-ups, saying complete information was not yet available.
"We don't have that data," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Thursday.
Several insurers said that they are receiving at least sporadic enrollment reports from the Department of Health & Human Services, which is running the insurance marketplace for 34 states that have declined to set up their own exchanges...
"In the last two days, 7 million Americans have visited HealthCare.gov to learn about their options," HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters said in an e-mail...
Cigna, which is selling plans on five state marketplaces, began getting enrollments Wednesday night. "Most of day one and two we didn't see enrollments," Cigna spokesman Joe Mondy said. "But we've been able to start getting enrollments as of last night."
Mondy confirmed that Cigna has received enrollments in Florida, one of the states where the federal government is running the marketplaces...
Other insurers reported similar results Thursday. Many hesitated to offer specifics, however, because they had yet to verify the information they were receiving from the federal government.
"It's definitely working," said Mario Molina, chief executive of Molina Healthcare, which is offering plans in nine states, including several on the exchange being run by the federal government. "I know people have been having difficulty accessing Web sites, but I am told by staff that they were able to get into every state Web site. It's working."
After two days without any word on sign-ups, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana received some reassuring news Wednesday night: Seven people had signed up for its plan on the marketplace that day.
"The first day and second we received no submissions," spokesman John Maginnis said. "This being day three, we were notified through the healthcare.gov website that we had seven. So that's very good news. It's a small number, but it told us the functionality is beginning to perform as its supposed to"...
States have attempted to address their most urgent technology problems. In Maryland, officials said the state's health insurance exchange was showing improvement, and that bottlenecks in creating accounts, the first step in buying a health plan online, were easing. Technicians made some initial fixes to the system Wednesday night, and more than 1,000 new accounts had been created by early Thursday, according to Josh Sharfstein, Maryland's health secretary.
Some problems persisted. Maryland said Thursday that, because of overnight maintenance, only general information will be available online from 11pm to 5am daily for the rest of the month. Consumers will not be able to create accounts or shop for plans during that time.
Washington state and California have also taken their sites down for maintenance in the overnight hours, and Washington officials said they would continue to do so as needed.
As a result of the Web site issues, one Maryland insurer, Evergreen Health, pushed back its appointments with potential enrollees until next week. Peter Beilenson, Evergreen's chief executive, said the co-op had made appointments with 100 people who wanted to sign up for coverage on Friday. "We called them all today and and we're going to delay that until the following week," he said.
Elsewhere, shoppers still report difficulties signing up for coverage. Michael Hoffman, a 31-year-old attorney in Florida, estimates that he has attempted to shop on the marketplace about seven or eight times since Tuesday...
"I was pretty frustrated," Hoffman said. "It's disappointing when you have higher expectations."
Hoffman now plans to stop shopping until next month, "There's not much urgency to it," he said. "The novelty has worn off in trying to sign up."
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 10/03/2013
Editor's Note: Interesting that the "flood" -- the "tsunami" -- of people so thirsty for health insurance hasn't resulted in more enrollment...Interesting, indeed...
The BasicsProject.org informational and educational pamphlet series is now available for Kindle and iPad. Click here to find out more...
The New Media Journal and BasicsProject.org are not funded by outside sources. We exist exclusively on tax deductible donations from our readers and contributors.
Please make a tax deductible donation today.