It’s being reported that 476,000 people have applied for insurance either through the state-run exchanges or the federal government’s Healthcare.gov since the enrollment period began on October 1:
Administration officials say more than 476,000 health insurance applications have been filed through federal and state exchanges. The figures mark the most detailed measure yet of the problem-plagued rollout of the insurance market place.
However, the officials continue to refuse to say how many people have actually enrolled in the insurance markets. And without enrollment figures, it’s unclear whether the program is on track to reach the 7 million people projected by the Congressional Budget Office to gain coverage during the six-month sign-up period.
Of the 476,000 applications that have been started, just over half have been from the 36 states where the federal government is taking the lead in running the markets. The rest of the applications have come from the 14 states running their own markets, along with Washington, D.C.
Politico looks at the number in somewhat more detail:
The Associated Press, which first reported the creation of 476,000 applications Saturday, said the numbers were roughly divided between people who had managed to create accounts on the HealthCare.gov federal site, which is serving 36 states, and the state-run exchanges. Neither White House nor HHS officials would give any further details or breakdown Saturday evening.
Several of the state exchanges, such as Kentucky and Washington state, are operating fairly smoothly. Some are still having problems, but overall the state-based systems are working better than the massive federal one. The health law as written in 2010 assumed that the states would run their own exchanges, with the feds only available as a backup. But many states, mostly with GOP governors, opted out, forcing HHS to build a far more massive and extensive enrollment system than it had contemplated, and Congress rejected several requests for additional implementation funds.
The Advisory Board, a business group that tracks health industry developments, tallied up the state figures available as of Friday and found that about 192,000 people had applied, and roughly 55,000 had selected a health plan (although not all of them had paid in advance for the plan, so technically enrollment wasn’t completed).
Also left unanswered is how many of those just under half million are actual potential healthcare insurance exchange customers and how many are eligible for Medicaid. In the final analysis there are only three numbers that matter: how many people are insured under the exchanges, what percentage of them are young and healthy, and what percentage of those insured under the exchanges were previously uninsured.