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700 Hoosiers Signed Up For Coverage Under Healthcare.gov

Only 701 Hoosiers have signed up for coverage at healthcare.gov since it went online Oct. 1.

healthcare.gov

Photo: Healthcare.gov

The enrollment numbers are much lower than the federal government originally estimated.

A total of 701 Hoosiers have signed up for health care coverage under the federal government’s website, according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Here are some additional Indiana highlights:

  • 31,979 people have applied for coverage under the health care website.
  • Of those, 19,093 are eligible for enrollment in a marketplace plan.
  • 11,305 are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP
  • 7,890 of those are eligible for financial assistance under the marketplace.

In a press conference, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says she is not worried about the differences in the number of people who have completed applications but have not selected a plan.

People have until December 15 to select and pay for a plan if they want to have coverage by January 1, 2014. Sebelius says she expects people are taking their time to think about what coverage they want before they choose a plan.

As NPR reports, 106,000 Americans have selected health plans nationwide on both the state-based marketplaces and the federal exchange.

Less than 27,000 people used the federal HealthCare.gov site to select a plan. The overall number includes enrollments made via federal and state marketplaces from Oct. 1 to Nov. 2, the agency says.

“To date, 106,185 persons have selected a Marketplace plan—this includes 79,391 in SBMs and 26,794 in FFM,” according to the report. “An additional 975,407 persons who have been determined eligible have not yet selected a plan through the Marketplace.”

The health care website has been experiencing problems since it went online Oct. 1.

Watch this segment of “Indiana Newsdesk” on what these enrollment numbers mean for Indiana residents:

Indiana was one of 36 states that opted to use the federal exchange instead of setting up their own state-based exchanges.

Indiana Department of Insurance spokesman Logan Harrison says the problems on the federal government’s website have put many Hoosiers in a difficult situation.

“We think it continues to be a failure and it’s causing problems specifically for our most vulnerable individuals that depend on some sort of health insurance to maintain some continuity of care.”

Indiana already provides healthcare coverage for high-risk Hoosiers who have a hard time getting insurance. Harrison says the state will continue to do so until the federal website is deemed operational.

Indiana State Hospital Association President Doug Leonard says he was not surprised by the low numbers but still calls them “disheartening.”

“We have been providing care for the uninsured, and we do so by providing that care and then transferring the lack of payment or the losses on that care to other patients that can pay,” he says. “So it’s a system that needs to be corrected and can only be corrected by those people having the means to get their care paid for.”

Hospital groups have been participating in awareness campaigns across Indiana, in an attempt to inform people about their options in the federal health care marketplace.

Leonard says they will continue to do so in hopes that once the federal website is fully functional, people will know what is available and will sign up as soon as possible.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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  • Fish

    Not surprising given that Pence & Company have done everything possible to interfere with efforts to explain the sign-up process and benefits of the ACA. And the failure to expand Medicaid is criminal given the 50% poverty rate among Indiana children.

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