Indiana’s Republican congressional delegation is demanding federal government officials release numbers on how many Hoosiers enrolled in the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplace.
All seven Indiana Republican congressmen and women and Senator Dan Coats, R-Indiana, sent a letter today to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking her agency to provide them with the number of Hoosiers who have applied and enrolled in Indiana’s federally-run health insurance marketplace.
“We have received numerous reports from Hoosiers who have been unable to enroll due to website malfunctions as well as complaints from Hoosiers who can no longer afford the new premium amounts,” the letter reads, “As we work to assist these constituents, it is important that we are able to provide them accurate data regarding the health insurance exchange.
The marketplace opened Oct. 1 and its website has been plagued with problems ever since.
The federal government announced when the marketplace opened it would provide regular updates regarding enrollment numbers but still hasn’t publicly said when it will begin releasing those figures.
The AP reports that about 476,000 applications have been filed nationally.
The figures mark the most detailed measure yet of the problem-plagued rollout of the insurance market place.
However, the officials continue to refuse to say how many people have actually enrolled in the insurance markets. And without enrollment figures, it’s unclear whether the program is on track to reach the 7 million people projected by the Congressional Budget Office to gain coverage during the six-month sign-up period.
NPR reports that the digital marketing company Millward Brown estimates only 83,000 Americans were able to enroll through the federal website, and about 46,000 of those are in states that are running their own exchanges.
In a speech today, President Barack Obama promised the problems with the website would be fixed. And as NPR reports, the president said the problems aren’t with the Affordable Care Act, but with the website.
And he said the health care overhaul has already begun helping Americans, such as senior citizens who Obama says are now saving money on their prescriptions.
“You may not have noticed them, but you’ve got them,” the president said of such benefits. And, he said, “they’re not connected to a website.”
The president also stressed that the signup process has just begun for the coverage plans, which are set to take effect in January. And he said his administration has added more staff to call centers to help people who have questions or problems using the system.