Friday, October 11, 2013

How Many People Have Signed Up For Health Insurance on the Federal Health Insurance Exchanges?

Based upon my survey of a large number of health plans accounting for substantial market share in the 36 states the federal insurance exchange is operating in, not more than about 5,000 individuals and families (about 10,000 people in total) signed-up for health insurance in the 36 states run by the Obama administration through Monday.

It is not uncommon for a major health insurer with a large market share to report less than 100 enrollments in the first week.

Reports today say the enrollments continue to trickle in at about the same rate.

Worse, the backroom connection between the insurance companies and the federal government is a disaster. Things are worse behind the curtain than in front of it.

Here is one example from a carrier--and I have received numerous reports from many other carriers with exactly the same problem. One carrier exec told me that yesterday they got 7 transactions for 1 person - 4 enrollments and 3 cancelations.

For some reason the system is enrolling, unenrolling, enrolling again, and so forth the same person. This has been going on for a few days for many of the enrollments being sent to the health plans. It has got on to the point that the health plans worry some of these very few enrollments really don't exist.

The reconciliation system, that reconciles enrollment between the feds and the health plans, is not working and hasn't even been tested yet.

When health plans call the special health plan "help desk" they are lucky to get through. When they finally get through, the feds are creating a "help desk ticket" to be researched.

Now, if we are enrolling 20 to 50 people per day per health plan per state through the federal exchange, that might be sort of manageable. But if this thing ever ramps up to thousands of enrollments a day...

In summary, big market share health plans are getting maybe 50 enrollments per day per state from the feds and that little bit of new business is a mess.

Click here to see what I said about all of this on NBC News yesterday.

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