People of Northwest Public Radio
Slow Healthcare Start
Wed November 13, 2013
Slow Start, Mixed Bag For Health Care Law In The Northwest
The first numbers on enrollment under the new health care law confirm a slow start and mixed results in Northwest states. In Idaho, 338 people have signed up for health insurance that will start January 1. Washington's health exchange has enrolled 7,091 people. Oregon, meanwhile, comes up blank in the new federal report.
The long-awaited numbers cover the first month of the new health care marketplaces. Washington, which launched its own exchange, ranks third behind California and New York in terms of the number of people enrolled.
For the time being, Idahoans have to go through the problematic healthcare.gov website to sign up. But Amy Dowd of Your Health Idaho says the state is still doing much better compared to many others.
“We are actually very pleased with these figures," says Dowd.
No one in Oregon was able to enroll in the first month. Managers at Cover Oregon are working through paper applications while they try to get the online exchange up and running.
Across the Northwest, nearly 80,000 applications have been completed, either online, over the phone or on paper, though not all of the applicants have chosen a plan yet. More than 50,000 people in the three states were deemed eligible for free insurance under Medicaid.
On the Web:
Full federal report