In its first full month of operation, the website for Maryland’s state-based health insurance exchange under Obamacare has attracted more than 350,000 unique visitors, but only 4,500 — just over 1 percent — have enrolled, even as the federal government’s HealthCare.gov website continues to struggle out of the gate.
Maryland was one of just over a dozen states that chose to create its own state-based health insurance marketplace. According to a report from Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, the website, Maryland Health Connection, is trying to avoid the same glitches that have plagued the federal website. More than 46,000 Maryland households have created accounts with verified identities, and more than 31,000 have learned whether they qualify for financial assistance.
Leading up to the opening of the exchange on Oct. 1, there were 87,000 Marylanders who were on track to obtain health coverage in 2014. That number has not been updated through October.
More than 82,000 senior citizens in Maryland have signed up to be automatically enrolled in Medicaid coverage at the beginning of the year, another program affected by Obamacare changes.
While the state exchange has gone more smoothly, Maryland officials revealed earlier this week that there were still significant bugs with the state website as well. Officials said that the site’s prime contractor, North Dakota-based Noridian Healthcare Solutions, was making “a number of changes,” including adding more technology and management support, to improve the site’s reliability and efficiency.