recommended reading

Obamacare Enrollment Is Surging

attem/Shutterstock.com

Roughly 29,000 people signed up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov on Sunday and Monday, a source familiar with the enrollment numbers confirmed.

The figures are the strongest indication yet that the HealthCare.gov repair effort is working--and that's a big piece of good news for the health care law overall.

After a disastrous launch on Oct. 1, officials scrambled to have the site working for the "vast majority of users" by Dec. 1. The administration provided various benchmarks to declare success on the technical end. But the make-or-break metric for the website -- and for Obamacare -- is, and has always been, enrollment. And 29,000 enrollments in two days is an undeniably strong turnaround.

The site processed more enrollments in the first two days of its relaunch than in the entire month of October, when persistent technical problems made it all but unusable. Roughly 25,000 people used HealthCare.gov to sign up for coverage in October.

Hitting 29,000 enrollments over two days helps validate Democrats' belief that demand for insurance is still high, despite the bad publicity surrounding the site's initial launch. HealthCare.gov clocked 1 million visits on Monday, but as October's experience proved, traffic is only a good thing if it translates into people actually signing up for coverage.

Enrollment is still substantively behind schedule, and the administration has a lot of work to do to make up for lost time. The broken website effectively shaved two months off the six-month enrollment window, and enrollment in October was only 20 percent of the administration's initial expectations.

The administration expects 7 million people to sign up, nationwide, by the end of the six-month enrollment window. Signing up 29,000 people every two days would still not be enough to hit that target, but it's a significant step in the right direction for the White House.

Between the site's ability handle large amounts of traffic without crashing and the early spike in enrollment, the process seems to be getting back on track. It's not all the way there, but the administration says the site will continue to improve. Also, the White House and its allies haven't yet unleashed the multi-million-dollar ad campaigns they have planned to promote enrollment.

Health care experts have said that if the site was working well by the end of November, the administration could probably still sign up enough people to make the law's new insurance marketplaces viable.

A critical mass of people needs to sign up in each state for the new marketplaces to work, and roughly 35 percent of those people need to be healthy and cheap to insure.

Experts are expecting a spike this month, ahead of the Dec. 23 deadline to buy coverage that begins on Jan. 1, and a larger surge in March, toward the end of the enrollment window.

(Image via attem/Shutterstock.com)

gm

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.