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obama administration Officials projected strong enrollment for health plans

Published: Wed, October 16, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press


The Obama administration’s internal projections called for strong enrollment in the states in the first year of new health- insurance markets, according to unpublished estimates obtained by The Associated Press. Whether those expectations will bear out is unclear.

Technology glitches have frustrated many consumers trying to sign up for coverage online, and efforts to upgrade and repair healthcare.gov are ongoing.

But the estimates, obtained through a public- records request, may be the closest thing to a yardstick for measuring the performance of President Barack Obama’s health-care law across the states.

The enrollment breakdown by states was included in a draft of an administration report on insurance premiums in the new markets, but it was omitted from a subsequent version that was released to the public last month by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Leading up to the opening of insurance markets Oct. 1, the White House generally deflected questions about its own expectations of how consumers would respond. Officials instead cited a congressional estimate that 7 million people would gain coverage in the first year through the markets, which offer subsidized private insurance to people who don’t have a job-based health plan.

The draft, dated Sept. 20, broke down the figure of 7 million among states. It estimated the expected enrollment in California, for example, at 1.3 million people in 2014. The estimate for Texas was 629,000 and for Florida, 477,000. The report estimated 340,000 people would enroll in Washington state, and 218,000 in New York.

The final report, released Sept. 25, omitted the enroll- ment estimates, but it was identical in most other respects.

Asked why the estimates were missing from the final report, HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters said: “We are focused on reaching as many people as possible about their options. There are many estimates of how many people will enroll in year one.” Some states have released their own estimates, she added, and other states are changing theirs based on experience.

The omission puzzled some experts in the field.

“Why there is this reluctance to share internal estimates, I don’t know,” said health economist Gail Wilensky, who ran Medicare for President George H.W. Bush.

While consumer interest in the new health-insurance markets has been undeniably strong, it’s hard to get a sense of how many people have been able to navigate federal and state websites and successfully enroll. Numbers released by states running their own market-places suggest upward of 100,000 people have enrolled so far, out of millions of potential customers.

The administration refuses to release numbers for the 36 states in which it is taking the lead.


1formerdemliberal(182 comments)posted 11 months, 1 week ago

While the Obama regime optimistically estimates that 7million people will obtain health care coverage in the first year of the program, this same administration has moved up the deadline for obtaining coverage without penalty (er, tax increases) to February 15, 2014 (http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/...) despite amateurish implementation of its registration website at a cost of $600 million taxpayer dollars. Happy Valentine's Day!

The administration was warned months before October 1 that the exchange system would not be ready for mass usage by October 1, but website administrators were told to roll out the system anyway. Fundamental testing of the system before release was apparently not conducted. If a private company acted in the same manner and wasted $600 million+ on a unworkable website system, heads would roll and profits plunge. In the federal government, the same incompetent bureaucrats who oversaw the Obamacare project are still wasting taxpayer money in trying to fix the problems that they helped to create. Here's a report by a CBS/Washington affiliate:


Here's another report with an accompanying CNN video of a health care expert unsuccessfully attempting for two weeks to register online for the health care exchanges.


Once again, the deadline for obtaining health care coverage acceptable to the Obama regime is February 15, 2014. Those needing health care insurance under the Obama regime should get ready for the possibility of having to pay penalties (er, taxes) for missing a deadline likely caused by Obama regime bureaucratic incompetence.

Posters ready to bash claims on this post are biased should note that links from NPR, CBS, CNN, and the Washington Post are cited (bastions of liberal propaganda). But that won't stop liberals from discrediting anything and anyone that disagrees with their narrow-minded beliefs.

Should anyone with common sense (i.e., not liberals) be surprised by this waste of taxpayer dollars and disregard for the people that Obamacare is alleged to help?

BTW, the scare tactics being used by the Obama regime regarding failure to raise the debt limit are disputed by Moody's credit agency that rates national credit standings. According to Moody's, there will be enough revenue to meet federal debt obligations. So who's using scare tactics now, liberal friends?


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2SeriouslyNow(192 comments)posted 11 months, 1 week ago

Got on to Healthcare.gov last night (16th) at 9:30.
Got set up with and account and verified and began shopping in less than 15 minutes.
I don't qualify for subsidy, but the plans offered have given me a lot of choices and some money saving.

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376Ytown(1242 comments)posted 11 months, 1 week ago

SeriouslyNow... Lots of choices and some money saving. Are you comparing the ACA plan to your current plan (apples to apples) or the ACA plan with the lowest premium?

Too many people already do not understand their insurance benefits. Now we have higher out of pocket plans with seemingly lower premiums which is great...until you have to use the insurance. As people enroll in the ACA for what they can afford, I'm afraid that they may be in for a shock when they use the insurance and have to pay thousands of additional dollars for their health care. In the old days, you were protected from huge out of pocket expenses with 20% co-insurance (80/20) or even set dollar co-pays for an office visit. The new plans expect you to pay as much as 40% of the costs from the start.

People are living pay check to pay check as it is and even small unplanned expenses can send them into debt or worse.


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4SeriouslyNow(192 comments)posted 11 months, 1 week ago

My first comparison is with my current private plan. Compared with my current plan, the ACA plan will save me about 100/month. The down side is that my total out of pocket max would increase by 1,000.
If I were to spend above that new max, then my savings would only be about 200/year. Which I would be glad to have.

Last year my total out-of-pocket was 2466, so if it had been possible to purchase the ACA plan last year, I would have saved 1,200 (compared with my existing plan).

You are very correct in observing that most people don't understand their insurance benefits. As an example I told a friend what my total out of pocket was last year and that I had a 70/30 plan and his remark was that I must never go to the doctor. What he fails to realize is that my doctors charged a bit over 10,000 for my health care, but after write-offs and insurance benefit payments, my total cost was 2460 plus my premium payments.

I wouldn't call my friend stupid, but in my opinion, what will start to control health care costs is an intelligent and knowledgable consumer.

The reason why I didn't enroll right away is the competing plans within the exchange forces me to try to make some judgement decisions about coinsurance levels and the maximum exposures that I think I'm willing to tolerate (for myself). So I'll spend some time thinking the exchange plans over, but I'm 90% confident that I'll be applying via the exchange.

So in the past couple of days, Ive been back to the healthcare website 4 times, and I must say that I've had no problems getting on and staying on. (Before the 16th, I kept getting bumped off, and couldn't even register..... so lately it's a BIG improvement

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576Ytown(1242 comments)posted 11 months, 1 week ago

SeriouslyNow: If you decide to go with the high deductible plan on the exchange, you can also set up a Health Savings Account (HSA). . The money you save on premiums can be put into this account pre-tax and saved from year to year. When you incur a medical claim, you can use that account to pay the expense that you'll incur with a higher out of pocket. It's your money, just pre-tax. In the years that you don't have the out of pocket expenses you will be able to roll over the money in the account to be used when you do have higher expenses. If you are really healthy...and young...the amount that can build up over the years can be quite a nest egg at retirement.

Employers have been offering high deductible health plans in recent years and we've seen premiums drop 60 - 70% for these compared to those with smaller deductibles. The savings (difference) put into the HSA made up for the difference in higher deductibles of $3800 - $5000 or more. It shifted the risk in paying smaller claims from insurance company to employee.

The plans we are seeing now on the exchange do not have small premiums but do have high deductibles so we get hit both ways unless eligible for a government subsidy.

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6SeriouslyNow(192 comments)posted 11 months, 1 week ago

Your discussion of HSA's highlites the reason why even knowledgeble folks may have to visit the healthcare.gov website several times before actually purchasing.

There are a boat load of personal circumstances that have to be matched with options both in and out of the exchange.

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7SeriouslyNow(192 comments)posted 11 months ago


Firstly I think you intended to say the pre-penalty date has been pushed BACK ( not moved up).

Secondly, the penalty for having absolutely no qualified insurance (regardless of the source) is 95 dollars for the year. If you delay obtaining insurance to March 15 of 2104, you will find a $ 7.91 penalty added to your income tax. Hardly a back breaker.

Lastly, I can not find where you came up with “600 million” for the implementation of the registration website. Admittedly, the website had problems scaling up during the first two weeks, but after that access to the registration website has been significantly improved.

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876Ytown(1242 comments)posted 11 months ago

published 5/28/13...long before the additional costs to fix the latest glitches. According to O, they are working 24/7 on fixing the problems.

Getting the Obamacare “train wreck” up and running will cost the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) an estimated $881 million between 2010 and 2013, according to the Government Accountability Office. As of last June, the IRS had already requested more than half a billion dollars from an implementation “slush fund” established in Obamacare.

In a report to Congress this spring, the IRS disclosed the amounts of spending and numbers of employees devoted to Obamacare implementation from 2010 through 2012. Among other areas, the IRS devoted:

$2.1 million and 13 full-time employees to implement the tax increases on drug manufacturers and health insurers,
$12 million and 150 full-time employees to “customer service support,”
$405.2 million and 700 full-time employees to creating the infrastructure to support the exchanges and the individual mandate tax, and
$20.8 million and 161 full-time employees to “promot[e] compliance with other new provisions.”


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9SeriouslyNow(192 comments)posted 11 months ago

See Formerdem's post at #1

He supports the claims in his post with: "Posters ready to bash claims on this post are biased should note that links from NPR, CBS, CNN, and the Washington Post are cited (bastions of liberal propaganda)." He provides links to each of these sources.

In none of the links (that he provides to support) can I find anything to validate his statement: " implementation of its registration website at a cost of $600 million taxpayer dollars".

I think I've mentioned before that, personally, I treat anything published by Jim DeMint's Tea party organization suspect.

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1076Ytown(1242 comments)posted 11 months ago

By the way, the company granted the contract to design Obamcare is a Canadian company!


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1176Ytown(1242 comments)posted 11 months ago

CGI Federal’s parent company, Montreal-based CGI Group, was officially terminated in September 2012 by an Ontario government health agency after the firm missed three years of deadlines and failed to deliver the province’s flagship online medical registry.


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