HONOLULU (AP) — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says 1.1 million people have picked private “qualified health plans” (QHPs) through the public exchanges it runs.
A December surge helped the HHS exchanges overcome the technical problems that plagued the HHS exchanges’ HealthCare.gov enrollment website in October and November, Obama administration officials said today.
About 975,000 people signed up for QHP coverage through the HHS exchanges in December. It’s not clear how many picked plans in time for their coverage to start Jan. 1.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange program open enrollment period started Oct. 1.
The HHS exchanges took in 27,000 completed QHP applications in October and said 137,000 people picked QHPs in November.
“We experienced a welcome surge in enrollment as millions of Americans seek access to affordable health care coverage,” Marilyn Tavenner, the director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), said in a blog post.
CMS, an arm of HHS, is running HHS exchanges in 36 states.
CMS is still waiting for December plan selection results from the 14 states running their own websites.
In October and November, state-based exchanges were signing up more QHP buyers than the HHS exchanges were. Activity has been especially strong in states like California, New York, Washington, Kentucky and Connecticut. State-run exchanges in some other states have struggled.
This week, exchange officials in New York state have said that 200,000 people have used their exchange to enroll either in QHPs or in Medicaid plans.
Officials in California said their exchange had helped 430,000 people enroll in some kind of coverage.
A full 50-state enrollment report is due next month.