First week of open enrollment sees 500,000 new plan applications

By: Susan Morse

Over 1.1 million applications were submitted to HealthCare.gov from Nov. 1 through 7, CMS reported.

Of the 543,948 new new plans selected during the first week of open enrollment, 34 percent represented new consumers to the health insurance marketplace and 66 percent were from those renewing coverage, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said the online experience went smoothly.

When healthcare.gov first went online in 2013, technical problems frustrated consumers, and far fewer signed up for Affordable Care Act insurance than expected.

“Consumers are coming to HealthCare.gov, having a smoother experience, and finding plans they can afford,” Burwell said.

During the first week, millions of people found in-person assistance in their local community, spoke with a call center representative or visited the website to review their coverage options, learn about available financial assistance, or to sign up or re-enroll in a plan, CMS said.

Healthcare.gov is used by the federally-facilitated marketplaces and state partnership marketplaces, as well as some state-based marketplaces.

States using the healthcare.gov platform include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Source: HealthCare Payer News – http://www.healthcarepayernews.com/news/more-500000-new-plans-selected-during-first-week-open-enrollment#.VmEfxYQ-eF8