We know 476,000 Obamacare applications have started. We don’t know how many will finish.
By Sarah Kliff, Published: October 20 at 9:43 amE-mail the writer
The White House announced weeks ago it would not release Obamacare enrollment data until November. On Saturday, though, it gave application data to the Associated Press – but the information doesn't really make clear how many people will actually sign up for health plans.
"Administration officials say about 476,000 health insurance applications have been filed through federal and state exchanges, the most detailed measure yet of the problem-plagued rollout of President Obama's signature legislation," the Associated Press's Julie Pace wrote late Saturday.
Later in the story, Pace identifies these as "476,000 applications that have been started," not necessarily completed. And nowhere does the story get into enrollment; those figures, Pace writes, won't be available until mid-November.
These numbers tell us that about half-million people are interested in toying around with the new insurance marketplaces. But they don't tell us much about how many people will actually enroll. That's because starting an application on HealthCare.gov is a pretty low commitment proposition: It means clicking yes on this page.
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