It’s not as bad as some predicted and it’s not as good as many, including President Obama, hoped. The total number of people who selected an Obamacare health insurance plan adds up to 106,185 as November 2.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said another 975,407 applied and were told they were eligible, but haven’t chosen a plan yet. Another 396,261 applied and qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Sebelius said, “We also expect that the numbers will grow as the website, HealthCare.gov, continues to make steady improvements.”
You also have to wonder what’s happening when you look at the small number of people making it through the process in states that have their own healthcare exchanges.
California leads the nation with almost 106,000 completed applications, but only a little more 35,000 people have selected a plan. In New York, there’s not even any data available for the number of people who applied. But a little more than 16,000 actually selected a plan.
There is still time for you to get on the bandwagon and try to make this new insurance system work. You have until December 15th to sign up to get insurance starting January 1st 2014. The Open Enrollment period runs until March 15th. There’s concern that many people who need insurance, and whose insurance is being cancelled because Obamacare was supposed to be in force by January 1st, won’t be able to enroll in time. But so far, there’s no extension of the dates.
Julie Bataille, the spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services, said people who began the process on HealthCare.gov, but left in frustration when the site didn’t work properly, will receive emails in the next few days alerting them that the site is functioning more efficiently. The administration wants those who started to return and finish their applications to enroll.
We’re told the website is getting better and better each day and should be fully up-to-speed at the end of November.
It also looks like the state healthcare exchanges have a lot of work to do to reach the people who need insurance.
And what seems particularly awful is that there is good deal of interest in states like New Jersey, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, and North Carolina where governors refused to set up healthcare exchanges. That means people in those states are solely dependent upon the malfunctioning Healthcare.gov website.
Consider these numbers:
In Florida 67,00 applied but only a little more than 3700 made it through the process
In Georgia 28,000 applied but only about 1400 completed the process.
In North Carolina almost 26,000 applied but only a little over 1660 made it all the way through.
In New Jersey 23,000 applied but only about 7400 finished the process.
In Lousiana 7, 702 applied and 387 finished.