ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The state-based exchanges in New York and Connecticut seem to be getting about as many completed coverage applications as they were before, but New York officials say the number of customer queries has been rising rapidly.
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) plan enrollment started Oct. 1. The enrollment deadline for consumers who want to have coverage in place Jan. 1 is Dec. 23.
Managers of the NY State of Health exchange said their exchange has approved about 27,000 applications in the past week. The exchange has been averaging about 28,000 approvals per week in the 10 weeks since enrollment began.
New York exchange managers said about one-third of all of the approved applicants have enrolled in plans, with 50,119 enrolling in “qualified health plan” (QHP) coverage and 40,984 in Medicaid plans or other public plans, officials said.
At the Access Health CT exchange, managers say consumers completed 10,312 applications from Nov. 15 through Dec. 4, or about 3,440 applications per week.
During the previous three weeks, consumers were averaging about 3,350 completed applications per week.
New insurers in the New York health exchange said they expect to see enrollment spike as the Dec. 23 deadline nears.
At Oscar Health Insurance, co-founder Kevin Nazemi said that hundreds of thousands of people have contacted the insurer’s website since Oct. 1, and that query volume increases daily. He said the company expects to see enrollment spikes both later this month and at the end of March.
“We’re not releasing specific numbers quite yet in terms of the enrollment, but I can tell you that we are on track to exceed our year-one goals,” Nazemi said.
At Health Republic Insurance, Debra Friedman, the chief executive, said phone volume rose 27 percent in one week. She predicted that the plan would see “rapid” enrollment expansion over the next two weeks.
“Membership enrollment to date and market share of individuals in the exchange, as well as phone volumes and website traffic, are up dramatically week over week,” Friedman said.
At a third startup in the exchange, Northshore-LIJ CareConnect Insurance, Alan Murray, the president, said enrollment is in the thousands.
“We’re going to expect a spike in the next few weeks as we get close to the end of the year,” Murray said. “I think that will spill over into next year.”
Many uninsured applicants are expected to qualify for income-based tax credits. Nazemi and Friedman noted significant interest in so-called silver plans, the second-highest coverage levels, where premiums could be offset by those credits.
Allison Bell contributed information to this report.