State-run health insurance exchanges are faring better than their federal counterparts
Throughout the U.S., relatively few people have enrolled in state-based health insurance exchanges. The majority of these exchanges are managed by the federal government, with only 12 states opting to run their own exchanges. Technical problems with the federal exchange network have kept many people from enrolling in exchanges properly, which is one of the reasons behind low enrollment numbers. States managing their own exchanges, however, have fared better in terms of enrollment, as is the case in California.
Covered California reports impressive enrollment numbers
California’s health insurance exchange, called Covered California, began open enrollment on October 1 of this year. From October 1 to November 2, the state has enrolled some 35,364 people into its exchange, nearly 10,000 more than the people enrolled into federal exchanges throughout the country. Californians currently make up a third of all people enrolled in exchanges nationwide and many have reported little to no difficulty in finding coverage through Covered California. The state expects its enrollment numbers to reach 60,000 by January 1, 2014.
State-run exchanges do experience some turbulence
While state-run exchanges have been faring better than their federal counterparts, Covered California was not able to avoid its share of technical difficulties. State officials may have underestimated the sheer number of people that would seek coverage through the exchange. As such, the exchange’s website was unable to handle the volume of traffic it received in the first few weeks of its operation. This left many without access to the state-run exchange, but this particular problem was resolved relatively quickly.
Federal exchanges continue to suffer from technical problems
The majority of the problems that have been associated with health insurance exchanges are being experienced by programs run by the federal government. These problems have discouraged many from seeking out coverage through exchanges. In Massachusetts, for instance, only a few hundred people have enrolled into the state’s exchange. The federal government is currently working to resolve issues with its exchange network, but there is no clear indication as to when the network’s problems will finally be resolved.