Analysts thought President Trump’s decision to cut the open enrollment period in half would make it difficult, if not impossible, to match last year’s figure of 98,780 Kansans enrolled.
But when the dust settled after the Dec. 15 enrollment deadline, Kansas had enrolled 98,919.
Missouri’s total of 245,580 enrolled also beat last year’s number, by about 1,000 people.
Nationwide the ACA enrolled about 8.8 million, just short of last year’s total of about 9.2 million.
New exchange enrollment data released by the Obama administration reveal in multiple ways that Obamacare is failing to live up to its goal of providing affordable care.
That’s no small problem when the law mandates that people buy coverage or face a fine. The fact that enrollment grew only modestly in the law’s third year despite the ramping up of the mandate penalty underscores the reality that Obamacare only offers poor options to far too many millions of people.
Reflecting slower than anticipated enrollment growth in health insurance purchased through the Affordable Care act, better known as Obamacare, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has lowered its estimate of how many people will get coverage through the law in 2016.
In any given month this year, about 13 million people on average are now expected to be enrolled in a health plan purchased on a marketplace created by the law, often called Obamacare.
The Obama administration is having trouble selling insurance plans to healthy people. That’s a big problem: When the young and healthy don’t enroll, premiums have to be hiked to cover the costs of older, sicker people, discouraging even more young people from signing up.
Read more at The New York Post
A fresh report by Paul McDougall posted on The International Business Times website, Dec. 14, says that in the just over one year period since the well-publicized botched rollout of Obamacare on Healthcare.gov, “potentially serious glitches remain.” This quote in the IBT report comes directly from Robert Booz, Vice President and an analyst at Gartner – a consulting firm. Booz, prophetically adds, “It’s the holiday season and people have put off enrollment to the last minute, so there is going to be a crunch.”
McDougall’s IBT article additionally relates, since 2013, “more than 6 million consumers have purchased health insurance, many for the first time, through HealthCare.gov and the site’s performance has markedly improved. But with Monday’s deadline looming for individual enrollment for 2015 coverage, this weekend marks the first big stress test since a new tech team overhauled HealthCare.gov.”
The Open Enrollment period for new purchasers on Healthcare.gov began this past Nov. 29. As things stand now, those who still have plans obtained through the website do not need to act in any way to retain that plan. Heathcare.gov does permit people in some states to purchase their plans directly, or it redirects them to websites controlling their own health insurance marketplaces. Those too have had widely publicized issues. For example, Oregon recently fired Oracle, and then went to the federal site.
IBT also says, 1.3 million plus health insurance customers have relates more than 1.3 million consumers have selected plans since open enrollment began. On top of now well-known computer delays in the Fall of 2013, with Helathcare.gov, call centers greeted potential customers with messages to try telephoning at another time. Backup call centers, according to IBT, were equally overwhelmed. IBT also reveals, “Software glitches prevented the calculation of subsidies for those lucky enough to get through, and many individuals who thought they’d bought a plan later found out otherwise from their insurer.” For his part, Booz says, “It’s not going to crash and burn this time.”
The CBS News Web page (of Sept. 15) features a story relating how, for the second year of the Affordable Care Act, many aspects of it are a wait and see. Is it wholly doable? Is it truly helping those it was supposed to in the first place? Meanwhile, the politically-based ACA discord continues. Rep. Bill Pascell, D-N.J., is quoted by the CBS report, as asking, “Why should individuals be punished if they got a bump in salary?” Pascarell is referring to an Obamacare reality, that some, as a result of personal earnings increases, may wind up returning a portion of their Obamacare subsidies. Also, according to the CBS story, Pascrell adds, “To me, this was not the ACA I voted on.” CBS additionally recaps the 2013 HealthCare.gov massive crash, occurring as soon as it debuted in October of that year. The result? A slowdown in Obamacare sign-ups.
For 2014, the Obama White House is promises better service for ACA customers. Yet, federal officials aren’t saying much. One possible reason? It is uncertain as to how well tests, on the system, are proceeding.
The tech executive, Andy Slavitt, who was invited by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — to assist with computer matters — is also quoted in the CBS account, “This coming year will be one of visible and continued improvement, but not perfection.”
Schools are not a nationwide focal point of outreach and enrollment for Obamacare. Enroll America, an organization of Obamacare allies and health law stakeholders, has not as yet focused on schools. The PTA has no current plans to get involved, either. States or school districts can act on their own; Los Angeles, for instance, is training some high school juniors and seniors how to be Obamacare messengers to their families and communities. But there is no nationwide strategy involving students, educators and parents.