Enrollment numbers double in second month of Obamacare registration
The Department of Health and Human Services reports more than twice as many November enrollees in federal and state health exchanges as in October.
Last month, 258,497 people signed up through the healthcare.govsite.
It took Scott Green, an independent information technology consultant, a while to get through to the site, but he knew it was just a matter of time.
"Well, the first time I tried to enroll was Oct. 4, a few days after the website opened. And I tried persistently for a couple of weeks. And, each time, I would get a little bit further in the process," he said. "At one point, it just stopped me dead."
On Dec. 2, Green did get through and purchased a silver plan with Independence Blue Cross. The deductible is $2,000 with a monthly premium of $440; previously, he was paying $740 a month.
The site is working, but there might be more glitches to come, said Robert Field, a professor of law and public health at Drexel University.
"I think that, given what happened in October, everyone is very nervous about what is going to happen with each of the website features. If it hadn't been for that, people would expect that everything would get worked out," he said.
"People are quite on edge about whether or not these systems are going to work as promised," Field said. "I think, ultimately, they will."
According to Field, enrollments may spike as deadlines near, which might cause problems. He says enrollees should double check with insurers they are on the rolls.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius also announced plans to review problems in the rollout of the site.
"I believe strongly in the need for accountability, and in the importance of being good stewards of taxpayer dollars," she wrote in a blog post Wednesday.
Dan Levinson, HHS services inspector general, will review the website launch.And there are plans to hire a chief risk officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and an expansion of employee training to include contractor management.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the date on which Green purchased his insurance plan.