D.C. exchange enrollment continues gradual growth

Oct 21, 2013, 2:57pm EDT

D.C. exchange enrollment continues gradual growth

Ben Fischer

Staff Reporter- Washington Business Journal

The D.C. Health Link, the District’s locally created online insurance exchange, continues to report strong interest in its opening weeks, though relatively few website visitors have actually purchased insurance.

Through Monday, 164 individuals or families have finished signing up and requested an invoice, according to new data released by the exchange. That’s up from 89 two weeks ago.

All told, 12,294 people and 426 small businesses have created accounts on the website, designed to link shoppers with both private insurance options and Medicaid for those eligible. Of those, 1,894 people have completed an application and 321 have selected a health plan, according to officials.

D.C.’s pace appears to be lagging behind a target set by the Obama administration, according to the Associated Press. An internal document put the October target for D.C. at 3,010 enrollees in commercial insurance plans, not counting Medicaid. (The White House denied these figures are targets, but rather projections.)

Health Link spokesman Richard Sorian said D.C. officials haven’t received any targets from the feds or anybody else, and they remain encouraged by the numbers in the early going.

"I don’t know where those numbers came from, but they’re not relevant to what we’re trying to do here," he said.

The entire concept of online insurance exchanges depends on enough people signing up to keep them viable — nationwide, the Obama administration has said at least 7 million people need to enroll by next March. However, keep in mind it’s only three weeks into a six-month open enrollment period.

Ben Fischer covers health care and law.

Kevin Wrege, Esq.

Founder & President

Pulse Issues & Advocacy LLC

Office: 202-625-1787

Mobile: 202-253-4929

4410 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #150

Washington, DC 20016

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