Insurers See Trickle Of Enrollees From Obamacare Exchanges

Insurers report that a small number of people are enrolling in coverage through the federal insurance exchange, but the government has declined to release any numbers. Meanwhile, the federal government scrambles to make fixes as experts debate whether the glitches are a result of the high level of consumer interest or if other issues are at work.

Politico: Obamacare Has Time To Fix Exchanges – But Not Forever
In Week One, Obamacare health insurance exchanges have been so swamped with traffic that they have been groaning under the strain. That could be a good sign for a law that America supposedly hated — if the Obama administration can get the federal website bugs worked out before those potential customers get scared away (Nather, Norman and Millman, 10/3).

The Washington Post: Government Continues Streamlining New Health Exchanges
Health insurers and individuals began reporting a trickle of enrollments in the new online marketplaces created by the health-care law, as federal and state officials scrambled to try to fix technical problems that have prevented many consumers from buying coverage. The White House has declined to release any national statistics on sign-ups, saying complete information was not yet available (Kliff, Somashekhar and Sun, 10/3).

The Washington Post: 'A Trickle, Not A Wave:' What Insurers Are Seeing In Obamacare Enrollment
Health insurers and individuals began reporting a trickle of enrollments in the new online marketplaces created by the health-care law, as federal and state officials scrambled to try to fix technical problems that have prevented many consumers from buying coverage. The White House has declined to release any national statistics on sign-ups, saying complete information was not yet available (Kliff, Somashekhar and Sun, 10/3).

Bloomberg: Obamacare Window Shoppers Meet Bottleneck In Slow Sign-Up
Health insurers in the Obamacare marketplaces are starting to slowly enroll new customers after computer bottlenecks and window shoppers complicated the debut of the exchanges. Molina Healthcare Inc. (MOH), Cigna Corp. (CI) and the other insurers selling plans in the government-run exchanges are reporting a trickle of applications. They anticipate sign-ups will increase as technological issues in the enrollment process are corrected and consumers gain familiarity with their options (Armstrong, Nussbaum and Pettypiece, 10/4).

The Wall Street Journal: Insurers See Enrollment On New Health Exchanges
Insurers said they are now getting enrollees through the health law's new online marketplaces, though some state websites and the federally run exchange continued to be slow amid heavy traffic (Weaver, 10/3).

The Associated Press: Breakthrough Reported In New Pa. Insurance System
Philadelphia-based health insurer Independence Blue Cross said Thursday it began enrolling people into its health insurance plans through the federal government's online portal, a breakthrough after two days of widespread system glitches. Independence Blue Cross spokeswoman Kathleen Conlon said she did not know the exact number of people who had enrolled into the company's plans through the healthcare.gov website (Levy, 10/3).

Reuters: With Obamacare Systems Still Slow, Backlog Builds Among the Uninsured
Americans trying to find out how much health coverage will cost under Obamacare endured a third day of limited access to new online health insurance exchanges on Thursday, leading to a growing backlog of people waiting to enter the system. Health clinics and other nonprofit groups that offer in-person assistance reported unexpectedly high numbers of walk-in visits and phone calls from potential enrollees, who were unable to enter federal and state marketplace websites that were overwhelmed by millions of online hits (Skinner, 10/3).

CQ HealthBeat: HHS Says More Than 7 Million Have Visited Exchange Site, But Who Is Enrolling?
Federal officials on the third day of insurance exchange operations faced a new emerging narrative in the battle for public perceptions of the launch — lots of shoppers, but not many buyers. HHS officials countered, however, that the system is working. Americans across the country are starting to enroll in plans, they said. But they aren’t divulging numbers, and it’s unlikely they will do so for a while (Reichard, 10/3).

Kaiser Health News: Experts Suggest Software Problems, Not Just Demand, May Be Behind Marketplace Glitches
Three insurance companies confirmed Thursday that they have enrolled customers through the federal online marketplace created by the health law, but the numbers were meager and signup frustration continued for many people (Hancock and Galewitz, 10/4).

The Wall Street Journal's CIO Journal: Health Exchanges Ignore Lessons Of Consumerization
The online state health marketplaces that launched Tuesday to qualify and register applicants for health insurance are difficult to use, say IT experts. They say the sites’ goal of guiding applicants through a complex process is being defeated by poor navigation and pages cluttered with too much information. But a CIO who built one state marketplace says that design decisions were hampered by strict government guidelines on how information could be presented (Boulton, 10/3).

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