Playing Catch-Up With Obamacare Enrollment
Obamacare enrollment in the first month was low. Like, crazy low. Only about 100,000 people have signed up, according to figures released Monday—a mere 20 percent of the 500,000 enrollees the White House was projecting before the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov. The White House, of course, says that given the website's obvious flaws, enrollment was guaranteed to be low in the first month.
That's true, but the White House has also avoided setting a revised enrollment target for October. Officials have simply tried to keep expectations as low as possible. So, sure, low enrollment was predictable, but it still puts the White House substantively behind schedule as it tries to sign up 7 million people in the first year.
If there's a silver lining for the Obama administration, it's that state exchanges—which aren't experiencing the same technical problems as HealthCare.gov—are doing much better. Twelve states surveyed by Avalere Health signed up as many people last month as the 36 states that rely on HealthCare.gov. That seems like a sign that technical issues, not a lack of interest, are what's holding down HealthCare.gov's numbers. But, again, that doesn't really matter if HealthCare.gov remains broken. Until the site is working properly, enrollment will just keep falling further behind.
Top Health Care News
By Sophie Novack and Clara Ritger
OBAMACARE ENROLLMENT NUMBERS AT LAST? Between 40,000 and 50,000 people have enrolled in insurance through HealthCare.gov so far, according to two people familiar with the matter. Official enrollment numbers are expected from CMS this week. Meanwhile, state-run exchanges have signed up an additional 49,100 enrollees.
WHO COUNTS AS 'ENROLLED' IN OBAMACARE? The administration will count those who have applied and selected a plan in the exchanges but not yet paid as enrolled, in data released this week.
HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE IS GETTING TESTY. First Rep. Darrell Issa subpoenaed Todd Park for declining his invitation to testify. Then Rep. Elijah Cummings sent a letter to Issa asking that he withdraw the subpoena and "Let Todd Work."
TEA PARTY SUPPORTS UPTON'S 'KEEP YOUR HEALTH PLAN' ACT. Club for Growth and Heritage Action are backing the bill introduced to stop the flow of insurance plan cancellation notices.
HOW MOBILE APPS COULD TRANSFORM RURAL HEALTH CARE. Policymakers and insurers need to take steps to open the floodgates for medical professionals to make mobile health a part of routine care.
IT'S REALLY EASY TO GET YOUR GENETIC RESULTS. But good luck making sense of them.
INDIANA OFFICIALS DON'T TRUST FEDS TO GET OBAMACARE SITE WORKING. The state has extended its high-risk insurance pool coverage through January.
HOW THE HEALTH LAW AFFECTS FEDERAL EMPLOYEE BENEFITS. Capitol Hill workers must buy insurance on the D.C. exchange. But what about everyone else?
CONGRESS WILL BE ON 'GOLD' LEVEL OBAMACARE PLANS. The coverage is expected to be very similar to what Capitol Hill employees have now.
MENTAL HEALTH PARITY YEARS IN THE MAKING. Carter and Bush both supported making the cost and coverage of mental health services equal to other medical services, which regulations made official on Friday.
FOOD STAMP OUTREACH BOOSTING ILLINOIS MEDICAID. The state created an "express enrollment" and received 46,000 applications for Medicaid.
CRITICAL ISSUES IN U.S. HEALTH CARE. The Journal of the American Medical Association holds a morning briefing at the press club starting at 9:30 a.m.
THE STATE OF THE EXCHANGES. Bloomberg Government holds a webinar beginning at 2 p.m.