106,000 buy health plan, about 1 million still selecting a plan

Nov. 13, 2013 at 5:54 PM
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BETHESDA, Md., Nov. 13 (UPI) -- About 106,000 Americans picked health plans in the 30 days of the new enrollment period, with almost a million more in the works, an official said Wednesday.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said for the first reporting period -- Oct. 1-Nov. 2 -- of the Health Insurance Marketplace's Open Enrollment, 106,185 U.S. adults selected health plans, while another 975,407 made it through the process by applying and receiving an eligibility determination, but had not yet selected a plan.

An additional 396,261 were determined or assessed eligible for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program, Sebelius said.

"The promise of quality affordable coverage is increasingly becoming reality for this first wave of applicants to the health insurance marketplaces," Sebelius told reporters during a telephone news conference.

"There is no doubt the level of interest is strong. We expect enrollment will grow substantially throughout the next five months, mirroring the pattern that Massachusetts experienced. We also expect that the numbers will grow as the website, HealthCare.gov, continues to make steady improvements."

Of the people who selected a health insurance plan, 79,391, or 75 percent, enrolled via state-based marketplaces, such as California and New York, which created their own state's online health insurance marketplace.

The rest of those who selected health insurance plans, 26,794 people, or 25 percent, did so via the federally facilitated Marketplace -- HealthCare.gov -- defined as those states where HHS is running the marketplace or states where HHS is doing so because the state elected not to run an online marketplace.

The report also said there were an estimated 26.9 million visitors on the state and federal websites. In addition, there were an estimated 3.2 million calls to the state and federal call centers.

The report is at: http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/MarketPlaceEnrollment/rpt_enrollment.pdf.

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