Source: Enrollment surge on HealthCare.gov
By: Carrie Budoff Brown
December 4, 2013 11:16 AM EST
About 29,000 people signed up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov on Sunday and Monday — a figure that surpasses the total for the whole month of October, an official familiar with the program told POLITICO.
The quickened pace of enrollments came as the White House hit its self-imposed Nov. 30 deadline to fix the troubled Affordable Care Act website.
The preliminary numbers for the two-day period provide the clearest evidence yet that the federal exchange is on the mend. About 26,000 people selected a health plan during the October and about 100,000 people did so in November, the official said.
HealthCare.gov relaunched Sunday after a two-month rush by federal officials to repair more than 400 software bugs and upgrade the hardware. President Barack Obama’s goal was to get the site working better for the vast majority of users.
Although the site is performing much better for consumers, insurance industry officials have said they continue to receive garbled reports on who is enrolling in their plans. The so-called back-end problems with the site could cause headaches for consumers when they attempt to claim their benefits on Jan. 1 if insurers continue to receive incomplete information.
But the sharp increase in the pace of enrollments could begin to allay one of the industry’s other major fears — that after a two-month delay in standing up a functioning website, the administration won’t hit its target of 7 million new insurance customers by the March 30 deadline.
Data were not yet available from the 14 states and the District of Columbia that run their own insurance websites, the official said.
The 29,000 enrollees for Sunday and Monday reflect individuals who have chosen a health plan, but they have not necessarily paid for the first month’s premium because coverage doesn’t begin until Jan. 1.