Nearly two weeks after the federal government launched the online Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov, individuals who have successfully used the choked-up website to enroll for a subsidized health insurance plan have reached a status akin to urban legend: Everyone has heard of them, but very few people have actually met one.
The Miami Herald searched high and low for individuals who completed enrollment for a subsidized health plan through the marketplace, also called an exchange, launched by the federal government on Oct. 1 in 36 states, including Florida.
The Herald solicited readers for stories of enrollees online and in the newspaper, and received a fair number of responses reflecting various degrees of success with HealthCare.gov, which has been plagued by technical problems that federal officials attribute to an overwhelming number of people trying to access the website at once.
A keystone of the federal healthcare reform law known the Affordable Care Act, the exchange is intended to provide affordable, comprehensive health insurance for the millions of Americans who do not have coverage.
As of Friday, however, only a smattering of success stories had emerged in news reports. Politico.com, an online news outlet, reported that a 21-year-old Georgia resident who enrolled successfully has become a cause célèbre, with national media and even the White House touting his story...
On Friday the US Department of Health & Human Services, which oversees the federally-run exchange, reported that HealthCare.gov had received 14.6 million unique visitors in the first 10 days...
Roll out of the health insurance exchanges has not been an all-around flop, however.
States such as California, where state legislators chose to create their own exchange ( Covered California) instead of handing off to the federal government, have experience some problems. But they also are reporting the successful enrollment of thousands of eligible individuals into subsidized health plans.
HHS has not said how many people in Florida or elsewhere have enrolled or attempted to enroll. Federal officials said that Americans have enrolled for coverage through the exchange, but they have declined to reveal how many. Obama administration officials said they will release those numbers once a month.
Insurers selling plans on Florida's exchange, such as Florida Blue, also said a number of consumers have purchased subsidized plans through the exchange. But they, too, have declined to say how many.
Florida media and nonprofit groups have reported at least two successes in detail.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 10/13/2013
Editor's Note: It should be noted that just because someone visits the website it doesn't mean they have signed-up. In fact, many people have indicated that they have visited the website without choosing to sign-up...So, when you hear about "millions of people visiting the site," that's where it ends...at a visit. Ergo, the Obamacare Exchange that was supposed to be greeted with such immediate need...not so much. The people, by their non-enrollment, have stated clearly that Obamacare sucks...
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