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HealthCare Checkup

The Seattle Times health-care team tracks the local impact of the Affordable Care Act.

November 13, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Washington 3rd among states in health-insurance enrollment

More people have signed up for private health plans through Obamacare in Washington state than in any other state except California and New York, according to a report released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The national enrollment figures are the first to be released by HHS since the online insurance marketplaces, a key component of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” opened Oct. 1.

The HHS data show that a total of 106,185 people in all 50 states and the District Columbia have selected a health plan through the online marketplaces. That figure includes people who have submitted their first premium payment, not due until mid-December, as well as people who have not.

An additional 975,000 people have completed applications and learned their eligibility for premium subsidies but have not yet selected a health plan, according to the report.

Among the more than 106,000 who have signed up for a health plan through the exchanges, 79,391 – or more than three-fourths – reside in the 14 states that have chosen to run their own exchange marketplaces, such as Washington. The other 26,794 enrollees are in the 36 states that have chosen to rely on the federal marketplace.

California accounts for more than a third of the nearly 80,000 people who have enrolled in coverage through the state-run exchanges, with 35,364 enrollees in Covered California. New York’s insurance exchange, NY State of Health, ranks second, with 16,404 enrollees.

In Washington, 7,091 residents enrolled in private plans through Washington Healthplanfinder through Oct. 31, which puts the state third in enrollment among all states.

Kentucky ranks fourth, with 5,586 residents who have signed up for coverage in private insurance plans.

The state-run exchanges have generally had a smoother rollout than the federal marketplace, which has been hampered by technical glitches in its online portal,

Among states in which residents are signing up for coverage through, the highest enrollment figures so far have been seen in Florida (3,571), Texas (2,991) and Pennsylvania (2,207).

At the bottom of the rankings are Alaska, with 53 enrollments, and North Dakota, with 42.

Two states with their own exchanges – Hawaii and Oregon – have not posted any enrollment figures to date. Both have had significant problems with their websites. Oregon’s site is still unable to process applications, which prompted Cover Oregon officials to announce recently that they will hire 400 new workers to manually process applications.

Comments | Topics: Obamacare, Washington Healthplanfinder


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