Initial health-plan enrollment below expectations

Initial Health-Plan Enrollment Falls Below Expectations
Initial Health-Plan Enrollment Falls Below Expectations

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer than 50,000 people have enrolled in health insurance through the federal HealthCare.gov website, according to published reports. The tally represents enrollment in the troubled federal health insurance exchange from its launch date on Oct. 1 through last week, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. HealthCare.gov serves as the insurance exchange for people in 36 states.

Separately, a report released Monday by the research and analysis firm Avalere Health LLC found that state-run health insurance exchanges are also experiencing lower-than-expected volume. Twelve of the nation's 14 state exchanges had enrolled 49,100 people as of Nov. 10, according to the analysis. The initial count represents just 3 percent of the 1.4 million people that Avalere projects to enroll in coverage through those state exchanges by the end of 2014.

Administration officials are expected to release official enrollment data sometime this week. Meanwhile, some insurance companies are pushing the administration for an end-run around the hobbled HealthCare.gov exchange to allow them to directly enroll people entitled to federal subsidies, The New York Times reported.

Chris Jennings, a senior health care adviser to President Obama, said in a statement that the administration was "continuing to pursue additional avenues by which people can enroll, such as direct enrollment through insurance companies, that will help meet pent-up demand," the Times reported.

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