Out of nearly 28,000 Missourians who have completed the applications for insurance through HealthCare.gov, only 751 so far have chosen insurance plans. The online marketplace, a key part of the Affordable Care Act, opened for enrollment on Oct. 1. Technological glitches made signing up nearly impossible in its first couple of weeks.
The Department of Health and Human Services made enrollment numbers public today, revealing just how much the numbers fell short of expectations. The Congressional Budget Office projected that by May 2014, 7 million Americans would have acquired insurance through the online marketplaces. As of Nov. 2, only 106,185 Americans have actually chosen an insurance plan through the websites.
The federal government runs HealthCare.gov, which hosts the online marketplaces for 35 states, including Missouri. California, which runs its own online marketplace independent of HealthCare.gov and has launched a state-wide awareness campaign, leads the nation with 192,489 people completing applications and 35,364 of them signed up with a plan selected.
According to numbers from 2011, roughly 800,000 Missourians are uninsured, or about 16 percent of the state's population under 65. About 300,000 of those would qualify for Medicaid if the state decides to increase its eligibility as called for in the Affordable Care Act.