Numbers for First Week of Open Enrollment Now Available

More than 1 million Americans applied for coverage through the federal Marketplace during the first week of open enrollment, HHS reported in the first of its weekly data snapshots.

More than 1 million Americans applied for coverage through the federal Marketplace during the first week of open enrollment, HHS reported in the first of its weekly data snapshots.

According to the preliminary data, 1,032,129 people submitted applications and 462,125 plans were selected from November 15-21. In addition to CMS’ monthly reports detailing plan selection in the federal and state Marketplaces, the entity will release weekly snapshots of preliminary data during open enrollment.

“Today, we are releasing the first weekly snapshot of Federal Marketplace Open Enrollment activity; we had a solid start, but we have a lot of work to do every day between now and February 15,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said in a statement. “People are ready to get covered, and visitors to HealthCare.gov are seeing more competition, affordable options and an improved consumer experience."

Of the nearly half a million consumers who selected plans, 48% were new customers an 52% were renewing their coverage from last year, according to HHS. These individuals need to pay their first month’s health plan premium in order to have their coverage effectuated.

The data provided in the first weekly snapshot only includes information from the federally facilitated Marketplace and not the 14 state-based ones. HHS also expects the numbers in the weekly reports are likely to fluctuate as consumers change or cancel plans or have a change in status.

According to HHS, with just over a million people calling into the call center, the average wait time was 3:05 minutes. However, for Spanish users, the wait time was just 10 seconds.

On the same day HHS released its weekly snapshot, the department also announced 3 new partnerships to promote the health insurance Marketplace just in time for the busiest shopping weekend of the year.

Westfield Shopping Centers, The National Community of Pharmacists Association, and XO Group, Inc, parent company of The Knot, The Nest, and The Bump, will be promoting the Marketplace in conjunction with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. The purpose of the partnerships is to connect shoppers with information about health insurance options available during open enrollment.

“This holiday season, whether consumers are shopping at a mall, online or at their community pharmacy, Westfield, The XO Group and the National Community Pharmacists Association will help to provide them with information to shop for an affordable health plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace,” Ms Burwell said.