State-Run Obamacare Exchanges Report 49,100 People Have Enrolled

Monday, 11 Nov 2013 03:12 PM

 

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About 49,100 people have enrolled in Obamacare plans through 12 state-run insurance exchanges, according to a consulting company that’s providing a hint on the data congressional Republicans sought during hearings in the past two weeks.

Enrollment through Nov. 10 represents 3 percent of the 1.4 million people projected to sign up in those states by the end of 2014, Washington-based Avalere Health said in a statement. The data doesn't include California, the most populous U.S. state, Massachusetts or Oregon. It also doesn’t account for those enrolled through the federal website serving 36 states.

A nationwide tally for October will be released this week, according to congressional testimony by Obama administration officials, who have said they expect enrollment to be low initially. Republican lawmakers have been pressuring the government to reveal just how much sign-ups have been affected by website outages and other flaws plaguing the federal website.

“Enrollment in new programs begins slowly and often takes several months to build momentum,” said Dan Mendelson, the chief executive officer of Avalere Health. “With aggressive marketing there is still time for awareness of the program to grow and participation to begin.”

In Avalere’s tally, New York’s exchange reported 13,300 people enrolled in plans from Oct. 1 through Nov. 10, the highest number of enrollees amongst the 11 states plus Washington, D.C., that have shared data. Washington state had the second-highest enrollment at 7,300.

800,000 Target

The exchanges were created so people can shop for private health insurance with the help of government subsidies, a core part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. The administration had a target of 800,000 sign-ups nationwide for the first two months, and the Congressional Budget Office has projected that 7 million people would enroll through 2014.

Memos from administration staff meetings showed that the exchanges had enrolled 248 people in their first two days as software errors shut out customers. Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said the federal exchanges should be fully functioning by the end of this month.

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

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