And this word comes not just from WSMV in Nashville, but from the social agencies that are tasked with making sure people can comply with the mandate to buy insurance through the exchanges. Tennessee doesn’t have a state exchange, so the failure is all coming from the federal exchange, where the system was supposed to be more ready than any of the state exchanges. Yet it gets the same result, even with the help of professional navigators (via TWS):
“We’re hearing not a single person locally has been successful getting through to the new health insurance exchange,” said a local reporter. “It seems to be a problem especially in states like Tennessee, where the state opted out and left it up to the federal government to run what is essentially an online shopping site.”
The other reporter comes on screen and adds, “Again, as you just said, no one in Tennessee that I know of, according to the counselors I’ve talked to, has been able to successfully negotiate that federal website.”
It’s not just Tennesee, either. The Daily Mail has a report on the, er, successes of the rollout of ObamaCare exchanges, and a few people managed to make it work:
California, the ultimate blue state whose federal lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in support of Obamacare, turned less than 1 per cent of its Web visits into ‘Covered California’ participants on Tuesday.
‘We had over 5.7 million hits to our website as of 3 p.m. yesterday,’ Covered California spokeswoman Kelsey Caldwell told MailOnline Wednsday.
‘7,700 consumers began their application process yesterday. … 4,143 applications are pending,’ she added. ‘We received 23,269 calls yesterday to our service center.’
Caldwell couldn’t say how many of the 5.7 million website hits were from unique Californians. But assuming 712,500 online visitors saw eight different Web pages each, the sign-up rate was 0.58 per cent. …
That indicates just 0.59 per cent of Connecticut residents who sought information about their state’s Obamacare program on Monday decided to become part of it, according to Access Health CT spokeswoman Kathleen Tallarita. …
A spokesman didn’t respond to a request for clarification about whether those 12,000 people completed applications for health coverage. If they did, and if each ‘web visit’ corresponded to a New Yorker who saw 8 pages, the state’s enrollment rate would be the lowest of all – 0.32 per cent.
Kentucky had the highest rate at 5.3%. The Washington Post has struggled, though, to find even one person who managed to buy a plan through the federal site:
But there are people who have successfully purchased plans on the 16 state-run marketplaces, including someone I spoke with on Tuesday who estimates his plan saved him $6,000. These are the states in dark blue on this map.
Some Minnesotans also tell me they’ve been able to purchase coverage, and actual enrollment numbers are coming out of Rhode Island, Connecticut and especially Kentucky.
But the federal marketplace is a bit of a black box right now. There’s been heavy traffic, with over 4.7 million visitors since the exchanges opened for enrollment on Tuesday. The White House says some applicants have signed up, but didn’t say how many. Rumors in the insurance industry hover in the single digits; several health plans say they are unaware of anyone signing up for their plan. BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina says it has enrolled one person.
The successful shoppers remain elusive. We’re told they do exist and are indeed real people. If you happen to be this very special health policy unicorn of sorts, you can e-mail me here. You would make a whole lot of health wonks quite excited.
Yes, the media would really like to get excited by this plan. The fact that it’s not at this point speaks volumes about this rollout.