State Obamacare numbers trickle in; Congress is bulk of D.C. small-biz enrollees

Story Topics
Question of the Day

What has been the biggest debacle on Obama's watch?

View results

State-run health exchanges began Tuesday to share their final Obamacare numbers, with the nation’s capital reporting that more than 20 percent of its individual and family enrollments came in the last week alone before Monday’s deadline.

All told, more than 9,800 people enrolled in private health plans through D.C. Health Link and more than 17,400 were determined eligible for Medicaid.

The city, which is mainly governed by Democrats, embraced the law early on even though its relative affluence in some parts of the city and generous Medicaid program had historically kept the city’s uninsured rate quite low.

The exchange reported that 12,907 enrolled through the city’s small-business marketplace, or “SHOP.”

Earlier this year, exchange officials told the D.C. Council that 12,359 of its SHOP enrollees were employed by Congress, so the health law’s rule requiring lawmakers and their staffs to enter the city’s exchange contributed to the overwhelming bulk on enrollment.

An employee of Connect For Health Colorado, the state's health care exchange, explains options and procedures to a walk in client signing up for insurance on the last day before fines are imposed, in Denver, Monday March. 31, 2014. Colorado has already exceeded baseline federal goals for enrollment.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Enlarge Photo

An employee of Connect For Health Colorado, the state’s health care exchange, ... more >

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the city’s nonvoting member of Congress, wants her constituents to know they have until mid-April to sign up after the city exchange issued a two weeks extension for people who encountered difficulty.

“Even if you missed the deadline, it’s not too late to get covered,” she said. “No matter where you are in the process — just starting or nearly done — you can and should move quickly to enroll in a health plan.  No D.C. resident should be caught subject to an IRS fine for failing to sign up when there is plenty of help available and an extension until April 15.”

In Minnesota, exchange officials at MNsure said 47,046 state residents sleeted a private health plan during the six-month enrollment period.

The White House last week reported it had crested the 6-million mark nationwide, and many are wondering if President Obama will announce a new milestone when he speaks about the health care law this afternoon in the White House’s Rose Garden.

April Ryan, a correspondent for American Urban Radio, reported on her website that White House Chief Technology Officer Todd Park told QSSI — the Maryland firm charged with turning around HealthCare.gov — that they exceeded the 7 million target initially set by the Congressional Budget Office.

“Everyone thought that was impossible…we actually exceeded the seven-million enrollees goal,” he said last night, according to an audio clip on Ms. Ryan’s site.

She reported that Mr. Park and QSSI employees celebrated with a champagne toast in the lobby of the QSSI headquarters.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks