WELCOME BACK? Despite major troubles with healthcare.gov, enrollment is trending up. The much-improved site will now have to handle an expected December surge.
Bloomberg News reports
that around 100,000 people signed up for private health insurance through the troubled federal portal in November, around four times as many as in October. (Greg Sargent at the Washington Post has more
, including confirmation from a senior administration official.)
The federal website, healthcare.gov, serves as the online marketplace for 36 states, including Arkansas. The other states and the District of Columbia have their own websites, which have generally functioned much better — the states with their own sites far outpaced the states using healthcare.gov in October enrollment figures (around 27,000 through the federal portal and around 79,000 through the state-run exchanges) and that will likely remain true for November as well. For example, California alone, which enrolled 30,000 in October, enrolled an additional 50,000 between Nov. 1 and Nov. 20.
The administration will release official numbers later this month on total enrollment both through the federal portal and the state sites. While the November trends are certainly encouraging, they will still likely fall well short of the original target of 800,000 through the first two months. Given the dramatic improvements
in the functionality of the website and the beginning of coverage on January 1, a December surge is likely.
No official numbers have been released yet on November enrollment in Arkansas, where only 250 people signed up through the federal portal in October. Meanwhile, the "private option" for Medicaid expansion, which uses a separate state-run website, has enrolled nearly 70,000 people
through late November.