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Regulation and Compliance > State Regulation

PPACA exchange numbers still scarce

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Federal public exchange program managers and managers of many state-based exchanges continue to be slow to release performance figures.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is running the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchanges in 36 states. In other states and the District of Columbia, local agencies are in charge.

HHS has released no comprehensive data on how many people have enrolled for health insurance using the system.

State exchange managers have released a little more data, but not that much more.

Oregon hasn’t even tried to open its exchange website. The state has admitted that the site software still can’t determine whether applicants are eligible for Medicaid or for PPACA premium assistance tax credit subsidies.

Vermont — a thinly populated state — received a large, $171 million grant to run its exchange and upgrade its technology, but its exchange system is still so buggy that officials are relying on paper applications.

In Oregon and Colorado, the official number of completed applications is still zero. 

In Minnesota, officials at the state’s MNsure exchange have said they’ll have to wait until Wednesday to release enrollment figures, in part because some users inadvertently submitted multiple applications that need to be consolidated.

As of Thursday, Delaware — a state relying on HHS to handle enrollment — had not yet confirmed news of any insurer making a single enrollment through the system.

Many of the Florida groups that are trying to help people sign up for exchange coverage say they still can’t complete the enrollment process online.

Kentucky is one of the bright spots. That state’s state-based kynect exchange had enrolled 18,351 people in exchange plans by Wednesday.

In Maryland, Maryland Health Connection managers said that, as of Friday, about 1,000 consumers had actually enrolled in coverage through their state-based exchange.

California said 16,300 residents had completed coverage applications by Tuesday. New York said it had processed 40,000 applications by Wednesday.

The Obama administration has tried to speed up the system by, for example, introducing a feature that lets consumers get basic plan information without first setting up accounts. Originally, consumers had to go through a premium subsidy tax credit eligibility determination process before they could see any plan information.

Some industry insiders say the enrollment system seems to be working a little more smoothly.

Karent Ignagni, head of America’s Health Insurance Plans, said insurers were expecting to see startup challenges.

“What people are pleased about is they are seeing progress,” Ignagni says. “They would be more worried right now if they were not seeing progress.”

State Total applications started Applications processed Reporting date
California 43,600 16,300 Oct. 5
Colorado 8,400 No data available Oct. 9
Connecticut 8,000 1,847 Oct. 10
Hawaii No data available None Oct. 11
Kentucky 26,753 18,351 Oct. 9
Maryland 13,532 566 Oct. 6
Massachusetts 7,553 1,471 Oct. 9
Minnesota 10,000 No data available Oct. 11
New York 60,300 40,000 Oct. 8
Nevada 3,654 2,270 Oct. 8
Oregon 1,337 None Oct. 7
Rhode Island 2,929 580 Oct. 3
Vermont 4,200 700 Oct. 10
Washington 39,000 9,452 Oct. 7
Washington, D.C. 8,427 1,112 Oct. 7

Contributing to this report were Allison Bell in New York and Associated Press writers Ricardo Alsonso-Zaldivar and Ben Nuckols in Washington, D.C.; Roger Alford in Frankfort, Ky.; Jonathan J. Cooper in Salem, Ore.; Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge, La.; Hannah Dreier in Las Vegas; Susan Haigh in Hartford, Conn.; Kelli Kennedy in Miami; Rachel La Corte in Olympia, Wash.; Steve LeBlanc in Boston; Erika Niedowski in Providence, R.I.; Laura Olson in Sacramento, Calif.; Wilson Ring in Montpelier, Vt.; Michael Virtanen in Albany, N.Y.; Brian Witte in Annapolis, Md.; and Kristen Wyatt in Denver.

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