Obama Administration Hoping 800K Enroll By End Of November

About 800,000 people are expected to enroll in the new online health insurance marketplaces by the end of November, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said Tuesday at a congressional hearing. A CMS official said later that estimate includes people signing up for Medicaid as well as private insurance.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Capitol Hill Tuesday in Washington (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

In a testimony to a Senate committee, Tavenner said the agency for the first time will release detailed enrollment figures for all 50 states next week. She said CMS then would release enrollment data monthly.

Open enrollment in the online marketplaces runs through March, though people must sign up by Dec. 15 to have coverage starting Jan. 1. The Congressional Budget Office has projected that about 7 million people will sign up for private coverage in the first year. Another 9 million people were expected to enroll in Medicaid, which is being expanded under the Affordable Care Act.

Tavenner told the Senate Health Health Education Labor & Pensions committee that she did not think the debacle surrounding the healthcare.gov web site would affect enrollment because  most people would wait until December or later to sign up.

An internal administration memo obtained by The Associated Press last month said the administration was expecting about 500,000 people to enroll by end of October. The exchanges opened Oct. 1.

Here are some numbers from state-based exchanges:

  • New York had enrolled 37,000 as of Oct. 23, though just about 13,300 were in private plans. The rest were in Medicaid.
  • Washington State had enrolled about 49,000 people as of last week—about 6,390 in private plans and rest in Medicaid.