Meanwhile, in marketplaces run by states, things are running much more smoothly. In Washington state’s Washington Healthplanfinder, for instance, as of the close of business Monday, Oct. 7, 9,452 people had successfully enrolled in a private health plan or Medicaid, and another 10,500 had selected and applied for private health plans but hadn’t yet completed the last step of the process—submitting a credit card or bank routing number to pay the first premium, said spokeswoman Bethany Frey. Within the first two days of operation, Connect for Health Colorado reported that 8,400 visitors had created accounts.
Covered California, the largest state-run marketplace, reported today that about 43,600 people had registered and started the application process, and 16,300 had actually made it to the point where they were told whether they’re eligible for Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid program) or for a premium tax credit that they can use to purchase a private plan.
Even tiny Connecticut has sent 1,175 applications to insurers through its state-run marketplace, Access Health CT. “Things have been running pretty smoothly,” said spokeswoman Kathleen Tallarita. “We had a lot of planning and smart people behind the scenes knowing what they’re doing, and a lot of end-to-end testing done.”
If your state’s marketplace enrollment goes through Healthcare.gov (here’s our list of state marketplaces), your best strategy right now is to wait a couple of weeks and hope that the site irons out its many problems. Any coverage you obtain through won’t start until Jan. 1, 2014 at the earliest anyway, and you have until Dec. 15 to enroll, so there’s really no big rush.
Have you tried to sign up for coverage or create an account on a marketplace? Let our health insurance expert know how it went.
— Nancy Metcalf