Colorado underperforming on even their worst-case ObamaCare enrollment projections
posted at 3:41 pm on November 26, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
For lack of better federal-exchange related news, ObamaCare fans have lately turned to touting some of the enrollment numbers picking up speed in a handful of the fourteen states that independently constructed their own ObamaCare exchanges as proof of the new system’s overarching merits that will eventually shine through everywhere — but not all of the updates coming in from those states are all that rosy. Over in gung-ho Oregon, their exchange is still a stalled-out, fritzy mess, with nary a single customer having managed to enroll through it:
Oregon once led the country in implementing Obamacare. Now it’s just about dead last.
Not one person has yet enrolled in the Cover Oregon insurance exchange — a major embarrassment to state policymakers who early on had wholeheartedly embraced the Affordable Care Act even as other states tried their best to hinder it.
After repeatedly delaying its website’s enrollment feature because of technical problems, exchange officials are still scrambling. Gov. John Kitzhaber announced new efforts Friday toward that goal, but mid-December is the soonest officials expect online enrollment could be available, and even that date is in doubt. Until then, the only way to sign up for coverage through the state-run program is via paper — a very long way from where Oregon had originally envisioned itself this far into open-enrollment season. The breakdown illustrates how even a gung-ho, tech-savvy state can stumble badly while attempting to expand coverage.
And Hawaii is about to become the first state to give the lead administrator in charge of putting together their very troubled exchange the ol’ heave-ho:
The official charged with launching Hawaii’s troubled ObamaCare insurance exchange will resign next month, according to multiple reports.
Coral Andrews, the executive director of Hawaii Health Connector, is the first marketplace director to leave her post since Oct. 1, when the exchanges launched.
The Hawaii Health Connector went live on Oct. 15 due to software problems and had only enrolled 257 people in its first month of operation, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser.
In perhaps the worst news for ObamaCare, however, Colorado’s exchange had a few ‘glitches’ to deal with but has been working relatively smoothly — and yet, their exchange has enrolled enough participants to cover just about half of their worst-case scenario projections, which is raising concerns about financing just the cost of the exchange in and of itself, via the DC:
Colorado’s Obamacare exchange has enrolled just about half of its worst-case scenario projections, with state leaders blaming public disinterest.
Just 6,001 Colorado residents have signed up for private insurance in the state-run exchange as of Connect for Health Colorado’s last announcement on Nov. 18, but The Denver Post reports Monday that the lowest enrollment estimate officials had made for mid-November was 11,108. …
Internal emails between the exchange’s board members warn that the drastically low enrollment figures could compromise Connect for Health Colorado’s “ability to deliver on promises made to Colorado citizens.” …
Many Colorado officials believe the low enrollment isn’t due to poor performance, though — instead, they argue, Colorado residents just aren’t interested.
Exchange board member Dr. Mike Fallon said “None of this surprises me… I don’t know what we as a board could have done. Health insurance is a difficult product to sell.”