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Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Low Enrollment Numbers Reflect Insurance Marketplaces’ Rocky Start

November 14, 2013 | Health Insurance Exchanges | Comments
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The Obama Administration this week released enrollment numbers for the first month that the health insurance marketplaces have been open for business. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) report, 106,000 individuals had selected a plan through the marketplaces as of November 2.  These numbers reflect people who applied and chose a plan, but some may not have paid for their coverage yet.

The report states that 27,000 Americans chose a plan for their health insurance coverage through the federal exchange website,, while another 79,000 people chose plans through state-run exchanges. HHS initial projections suggested that 495,000 individuals would enroll in the month of October, but the Administration has looked to dampen early enrollment expectations in recent weeks due to troubles with the federal marketplace website.

The November enrollment report also noted that:

  • 396,000 people whose applications were processed by the marketplaces have been deemed eligible for Medicaid.
  • About 30% of individuals eligible for marketplace enrollment qualified for a premium tax credit.
  • 1 million people have been deemed eligible for marketplace coverage but have not yet picked a plan.

The report includes an appendix comparing Exchange enrollment to Part D, Massachusetts Commonwealth Care, CHIP and the Federal Employees’ Health Benefit Plan.  While Part D had about 10% enrollment in the first month, Massachusetts had just 3% enrollment in the first month.