S.C. application numbers rise on healthcare.gov in November

jholleman@thestate.comDecember 11, 2013 

20070627 US health care

SW PARRA — MCT

Nearly five times as many people in S.C. selected health insurance policies on healthcare.gov in November than in October, though the two-month total of 2,761 is still well below projections.

The federal government released statistics for the Health Insurance Marketplace on Wednesday, backing the contention that the functionality of the balky website has slowly improved. In the 36 states on the federal marketplace, 1.15 million applications have been completed and 137,204 policies selected in two months.

Another 326,623 applications were completed and 79,391 policies selected in the 15 state-run exchanges (that includes the District of Columbia). The total comes to 1.8 million applications and policies selected for 364,682 people. But that’s well below the 7 million people the Obama administration projected would sign up for policies for 2014.

“Evidence of the technical improvements to healthcare.gov can be seen in the enrollment numbers,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.

In terms of numbers, South Carolina is in the middle of the pack – 24,768 applications completed representing 46,494 people in the first two months of the website’s operation. Fewer than 10 percent of the people completing applications had selected policies in the first two months, but it’s impossible to know how many simply were delaying making a decision until closer to the Dec. 23 deadline for coverage starting Jan. 1.

The number of applications completed in South Carolina rose only slightly from 11,249 in October to 13,519 in November, but the number of policies selected went up from 572 to 2,761.

Among the 46,494 S.C. residents who applied in the first two months, 12,242 were eligible for tax credits to reduce their insurance premiums. Another 4,099 were deemed eligible for Medicaid coverage.

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