KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Most Uninsured Signing Up On Health Website Are Going To Medicaid

The Washington Post reports that nine out of 10 new enrollees are in Medicaid. Meanwhile, White House documents turned over to investigators in the House show only six people enrolled on the day the troubled website launched.

The Washington Post: In First Month, The Vast Majority Of Obamacare Sign-Ups Are In Medicaid
The first month of the new health law's rollout reveals an unexpected pattern in several states: a crush of people applying for an expansion of Medicaid and a trickle of sign-ups for private insurance. This early imbalance — in some places, nine out of 10 enrollees are in Medicaid — has taken some experts by surprise. The Affordable Care Act, which expanded Medicaid to cover millions of the poorest Americans who couldn't otherwise afford coverage, envisions a more even split with an expanded, robust private market (Kliff, 10/31).

The Washington Post: Obamacare's Launch Looked Even Worse From The Inside had tallied exactly six successful enrollments by the morning of Oct. 2, new documents released by the House Oversight Committee show. By the end of Oct. 2, the health law Web site that serves 36 states had received 248 insurance enrollments (Kliff, 10/31).

Politico: Six Enrolled On Health Site On Day 1
Only six people enrolled in health insurance via the Obamacare exchanges on the website’s first day, newly released documents reveal. "War room notes" obtained by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and posted by CBS News from the morning of Oct. 2, the day after the exchange site opened, show that amid ongoing problems with the site, just six people had completed enrollment as of that morning (Kopan, 11/1).

NBC News: Only 6 Able To Sign Up On Healthcare.Gov’s First Day, Documents Show
The six enrollments that had been completed by the morning of Oct. 2 were spread across Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina, Blue Cross Blue Shield Kansas City, CareSource and Healthcare Service Corp., the documents say. Notes from an Oct. 2 "PM" meeting say that that "direct enrollment is still not working," and "consumer access issues are occurring; some estimates show 40,000 people in the waiting room." At the time of that report approximately 100 enrollments had been completed (Thorp, 10/31). 

CBS News: Obamacare Enrollments Got Off To Very Slow Start, Documents Show
For 31 days now, the Obama administration has been telling us that Americans by the millions are visiting the new health insurance website, despite all its problems. But no one in the administration has been willing to tell us how many policies have been purchased, and this may be the reason: CBS News has learned enrollments got off to an incredibly slow start. Early enrollment figures are contained in notes from twice-a-day "war room" meetings convened within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services after the website failed on Oct. 1. They were turned over in response to a document request from the House Oversight Committee (Attkisson, 10/31).

Reuters: Enrollment In Obamacare Very Small In First Days: Documents
Enrollment in health insurance plans on the troubled Obamacare website was very small in the first couple of days of operation, with just 248 Americans signing up, according to documents released on Thursday by a U.S. House of Representatives committee (Cornwell and Morgan, 10/31). 

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