Healthcare.gov Sign-Up Improves; Deadline Draws NearBy: Val Powell - December 11, 2013
The Obamacare sign-up has improved, but is it too little, too late? Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Congress Wednesday that “very positive trends” are being witnessed now that HealthCare.gov is working more or less as it should.
However, there are concerns that Americans who want coverage next year may not make the impending Dec. 23 deadline to sign up. Though the healthcare.gov website seems to be working much better now, it still has problems and the pace of enrollment is definately not fast enough. Those who choose to sign-up last minute may also be out of luck because the website will not be able to deal with the rush – it can only handle 55,000 people at a time. Also, states like Oregon, which are running their own site, only managed to signed up a dismal 44 people as of Nov 30. All of these issues will likely mean that the White House and Democratic lawmakers will be in for more criticism about the Affordable Care Act come Jan. 2014.
According to the Health and Human Services Department, about 364,682 people had enrolled for private coverage under the health care law as of Nov. 30. This number falls well short of the 1.2 million people the Obama administration anticipated would enroll by that time. The administration is still hoping that about 7 million people will sign up by March 31, 2014, which marks the end of open enrollment. At current pace of enrollment, achieving that goal seems very uncertain.
Among the people with health insurance woes, are the over 4 million people who will see their plans canceled in January because their insurance providers say they don’t meet the law’s requirements. “Unless there is a proactive attempt to enroll these groups, you are likely to see a significant number of people whose coverage will lapse in January,” said Dan Mendelson, CEO of Avalere Health. “That might not be a big deal, because they might not get sick, but some of them will.”
Sebelius Apologizes For Healthcare.gov Glitches
(main image via YouTube)