While estimates had already been released prior to today in regards to the number of enrollments through the health insurance marketplaces through November 30th, the Department of Health and Human Services released the official numbers on Wednesday. The report showed that more and more people selected a health care plan via the marketplaces in November. How many? When counting the state based marketplaces with the federal exchange, 365,000 people had purchased insurance by the end of November.
This is a very encouraging number. Even better is that over 800,000 people were determined to be eligible for Medicaid under the new guidelines. Therefore, through the end of November, 1.2 million people were able to obtain health insurance. And, remember, this was WHILE Healthcare.gov was experiencing issues. Other numbers that are of interest showed that 39.1 million people visited either a state-based exchange website or Healthcare.gov since October 1st, while 5.2 million had contacted call centers. Besides the 365,000 that had enrolled in plans, another 1.9 million have completed applications and are just waiting to select a plan.
As for the so-called troubled federal website, nearly 140,000 people were able to select a plan through it by the end of November. That number will surely rise, for as the website improved through the months of October and November, more and more people kept enrolling. With the deadline to enroll in a plan that takes effect on January 1st fast approaching (December 23rd), we should see a large increase in the number of plans that are selected in the next two weeks. Those numbers will still continue to rise into the new year as people enroll before the cutoff date of March 31st.
The White House already stated that 29,000 people enrolled in a plan during the first two days after the ‘reboot’ of the federal website. The likelihood is that we will see a HUGE spike in plan enrollments by the end of this month and the numbers will start coming more in line with the targeted goals. However, what shouldn’t be glanced over is the fact that 1.2 million people are now insured that weren’t just two months ago. 1.2 million Americans have had there lives changed for the better. 1.2 million people are no longer forced to use the emergency room as their primary caregiver.
Of course, Republicans on Wednesday were in complete denial that any of this was good news. On Speaker of the House John Boehner’s Twitter, he posted an article from the conservative Washington Examiner saying that the adminstration was in a ‘deep hole’ on enrollments:
— John Boehner (@johnboehner) December 11, 2013
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) also jumped into the action on Twitter, tweeting another Examiner article while stating that millions of more Americans have had their policies canceled than have signed up:
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) December 11, 2013
In the end, the GOP knows they have lost on this issue and are just trying to win the messaging battle a little bit longer. As more and more time passes, thousands and then millions of people will have signed up for a health care plan or be deemed eligible for Medicaid. The further along we go, the less their message will resonate with everyday people who will find out how much better this law makes their lives.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).