KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

HHS Health Insurance Enrollment Figures Far Below Targets

Only about a fourth of the enrollees signed up through the federal health exchange. The low initial sign up could set up a steep challenge for the health law.

The New York Times: Only 106,000 Pick Health Insurance Plans In First Month
Only about a fourth of the new enrollees — 26,794 — signed up through, the problem-plagued federal exchange, according to figures released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A much larger number, 76,319, signed up through the 14 state-run marketplaces (Stolberg and Craig, 11/13).

Los Angeles Times: Obamacare Enrollments Far Below Targets
Newly released figures show enrollments for coverage under President Obama's healthcare plan fell far below official projections, underscoring the damage inflicted by the botched rollout and further endangering the administration's support among restive Democrats on Capitol Hill. Just 106,185 Americans successfully enrolled in health coverage in October. The administration had hoped to get half a million people signed up in Obamacare's first month. About a third of the enrollments — 35,364 — came from California (Mascaro, Levey and Memoli, 11/13).

The Washington Post: Administration: 106,000 Enrolled In Health Insurance In First Month Of
Slightly more than 106,000 Americans signed up for health plans in the first month of new state and federal insurance marketplaces, the Obama administration reported Wednesday. The figure, which was far lower than the administration predicted, points to the steep challenge ahead as the White House tries to overcome public and congressional frustration with the program’s problem-plagued rollout. The tally showed that just a quarter of the enrollments were in the federally run marketplace, while the rest were in the state exchanges (Goldstein and Kane, 11/13).

NPR: The Health Care Numbers Are Out, And They're Disappointing
The Obama administration released its much anticipated enrollment numbers for the first month of the troubled website Wednesday. And as predicted, the numbers were disappointing. Just over 100,000 people managed to navigate the process and choose a health plan between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2 — 106,185 people, to be precise (Rovner, 11/13).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Fewer Than 27,000 Health Care Sign-Ups Through Federal Website, 79,000 More In State Sites
Planting a paltry number on a national disappointment, the Obama administration revealed Wednesday that just 26,794 people enrolled for health insurance during the first, flawed month of operations for the federal "Obamacare" website. Adding in enrollment of more than 79,000 in the 14 states with their own websites, the nationwide number of 106,000 October sign-ups was barely one-fifth of what officials had projected — and a small fraction of the millions who have received widely publicized private coverage cancellations as a result of the federal law (11/13).

The Wall Street Journal: Obama Administration Gives First Month Health-Site Tallies
The news that only 106,185 people nationwide were able to get through the sites in a month comes as a significant blow to the administration. In one memo, it had projected some 500,000 people would obtain private-insurance coverage nationwide. The Congressional Budget Office projected in May 2013 that seven million people nationwide would sign up for private plans by the end of March 2014 (Radnofsky and Ante, 11/13).

Politico: Takeaways: Obamacare By The Numbers
The Obama administration did everything possible to dress up the ugliness of the first month of Obamacare enrollment numbers — adding in people who haven’t even paid and throwing in figures that have nothing to do with actual signups. The one true bright spot is there seems to be interest, so enrollment could pick up in the coming months, just like the White House always said it would (Nather, 11/13).

McClatchy: Only 25% Of New Health Care Enrollees Signed Up On Federal Website
Just 26,794 people managed to complete enrollment on, the problem-plagued federal government website, which serves as the portal for consumers to enroll in insurances plans available through the federal marketplace. The federal enrollment figure was in line with the “very low” numbers that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had projected in recent congressional testimony. Technical problems with the website have frustrated users, as many became stuck and were unable to create the personal accounts required for enrolling in coverage. The problems have vexed people across the country working to enroll consumers (Pugh, 11/13).

PBS NewsHour: Initial ACA Enrollment Numbers Come Up Short Of Expectations
Technology chiefs in charge of were grilled by lawmakers on Capitol Hill about the problematic rollout of the website. Kwame Holman reports on their testimony, while Judy Woodruff talks to Mary Agnes Carey of Kaiser Health News about the lower-than-expected enrollment numbers for the insurances exchanges (Holman and Woodruff, 11/13).

The Fiscal Times: Obamacare: How The Federal And State Exchanges Stack Up
California, the state with the largest population of uninsured, saw more than 35,000 individuals select an insurance plan, by far the most of any state – and thousands more than the federal exchange covering 36 other states. In North Dakota, by contrast, just 42 people signed up through the federal exchange, and just 58 people signed up in South Dakota. Enrollments in the California exchange plans have accelerated since the beginning of November, state officials announced Wednesday in releasing numbers that cover a broader time period than those released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Rosenberg, 11/14).

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