Enrollment in health plans continues to tick up

Exchange site showing improvement, but well below goal

December 20, 2013|By Meredith Cohn and Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun

Maryland's health exchange has enrolled 7,435 people in private insurance plans, as of Dec. 14, jumping more than 2,250 from the previous week, exchange officials reported Friday.

Official say repairs to the site, which crashed the day it launched Oct. 1, are helping smooth the process for many users of the online portal. The exchange, however, still remains well below its enrollment goal of 150,000 in private plans by the end of open enrollment March 31.

Gov. Martin O'Malley stood by the goal on Friday, though he said he's still not fully satisfied with the website's performance.

"I'm pleased with the progress we're making. None of us is pleased yet with the level of functionality. There's still a lot of glitches, a lot of problems, a lot of rough spots," O'Malley said during a news conference.

"For most citizens the website is functional, but every citizen matters so I can't use the word pleased or good," he said. "What I can say is there have been improvements made and you see the results of those improvements in the big uptick in citizens of Maryland that are now able to obtain insurance over the site."

In addition to private plans, people can enroll in Medicaid on the exchange, and officials are also signing people up for a state program that will convert to Medicaid as of Jan. 1. So far, 22, 323 Marylanders have been found eligible for the program through the exchange, though some may be duplicates or not all documents have been submitted for enrollment.

In all, officials say 117,000 people are on track to receive health insurance beginning Jan. 1 through private or public plans under the Affordable Care Act.



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