Today, the Obama administration unveiled the first-month enrollment figures for Obamacare — showing that just 106,000 Americans have managed to select an individual insurance plan. The figure is roughly one-fifth of what the government had projected would enroll in Obamacare’s opening weeks.
The new system for buying insurance combines more than a dozen state-administered insurance marketplaces as well as the troubled federal exchange. To date, the state exchanges are outpacing federal enrollment at a 3-to-1 clip. Here are the top seven exchanges, ranked by number of insurance seekers who have selected a plan:
1. California: 35,364
2. Federal Exchange: 26,794
3. New York: 16,404
4. Washington: 7,091
5. Kentucky: 5,586
6. Connecticut: 4,418
7. Colorado: 3,736
Within the federal exchange, several high-population states stand out for sub-par enrollment. In Texas, which leads the nation in those uninsured, just 2,991 have selected plans. In Illinois, the number is 1,370. New Jersey? 741. The results in low-density red states look like rounding errors. Wyoming: 85. North Dakota: 42.
The news is not all bleak. Nearly 400,000 people seeking insurance through the exchanges were determined to be eligible to enroll in low-cost coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). And on a conference call today, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius insisted that despite its catastrophic launch, Healthcare.gov should now be considered “open for business.”
“It’s getting better every day,” Sebelius said. “So I’d urge people to visit the site.”