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Indiana Health Exchange Enrollees Quadruple In November

Nearly 2,800 Hoosiers signed up for insurance in November, compared to 700 in October.

healthcare.gov

Photo: Healthcare.gov

The enrollment numbers spiked dramatically in November.

The number of Hoosiers enrolled in the federal health care exchange quadrupled in November.

Nearly 2,800 Hoosiers signed up for insurance last month, according to a Department of Health and Human Services report issued today.

That’s a marked increase from the 701 that signed up during October and brings the total number of enrollees to 3,500.

NPR reports the numbers nationwide have also jumped.

As of Nov. 30, more than 137,000 people had obtained health insurance through the federal website, which serves consumers in 36 states. Another 227,000 got coverage through exchanges run by the other 14 states and the District of Columbia. The numbers suggest a fourfold increase in November enrollments on the federal website, compared to October, when the site was barely functioning. The pace of enrollment on the state sites roughly doubled.

Obama officials say they expect enrollment rates to continue increasing now that the website is not experiencing as many problems.

About 35 hundred Hoosiers have signed up for health insurance so far under the federal health exchange. That’s according to a report the Health and Human Services department released today. But many people aren’t satisfied with those numbers.

“It’s hard to wrap my mind around how gravely disappointing all of this is,” says Chris Schrader is a health care expert who runs a human resources firm in Bloomington. “It’s really not so much as what’s there as where you should be relative to your objective, and where they are relative to their objective is woefully behind.”

The federal government hoped to have 7 million people enrolled in the first year. Nationally, only about 227,000 have signed up.

David Meyer, the President of the Affordable Care Act Volunteers of Monroe County, says while many groups are working to make people aware of the exchange, the people who need it most still aren’t being reached.

“They’re folks that are often working more than one job. They don’t have time to sit around and read the newspaper,” he says. “They don’t have time to sit around and listen to radio and a lot of TV, news related coverage. They just don’t have time to get that kind of information—the information that would really help them.”

Meyers says he expects the enrollment numbers to keep increasing now that the website is working more smoothly, but at the current rate only 7,000 Hoosiers will have signed up for coverage by the end of the year.

People wanting to sign up under the federal exchange have until Dec. 23 to complete their application to be covered starting Jan. 1.

Claire McInerny

Claire McInerny is a reporter/producer for WFIU/WTIU news. She comes to WFIU/WTIU from KCUR in Kansas City. She graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Kansas where she discovered her passion for public media and the stories it tells. You can follow her on Twitter @ClaireMcInerny.

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