Just 53 Alaskans have selected health insurance plans on healthcare.gov. The federal government released marketplace numbers today for every state. Nationwide, 106 thousand people have signed up for plans. That figure includes people who have fully enrolled and people who have a plan in their shopping cart but haven’t paid yet. North Dakota is the only state with fewer people in that category than Alaska. But Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius expects to see all the numbers increase a lot in the next several months:
“There’s no doubt that particularly the early experience with healthcare.gov was enormously frustrating. It is getting better. It’s getting better every day. So I’d urge people to visit the site.”
Enroll Alaska says it’s confident enough in the federal site to begin signing Alaskans up again. The company suspended enrollments on healthcare.gov last month, after discovering the subsidy calculations weren’t working properly for Alaskans. Chief Operating Officer Tyann Boling says the federal government has fixed the problem. She says Enroll Alaska signed up one person on the marketplace yesterday, and it only took 20 minutes:
“This is really encouraging. Our agents are really excited to get out into the community and start helping individuals. This is really good news for us.”
Boling says the company will start deploying more than two dozen insurance agents to Walmarts, Sam’s Clubs and hospitals in communities across the state.
Boling says anyone who signed up for health insurance on the marketplace before November 11th may be due a larger subsidy. To get the problem fixed, those who have already enrolled need to file an appeal. Boling says the federal government is working on finding a quicker remedy for Alaskans who received the wrong subsidy amount on healthcare.gov. She says Enroll Alaska can help with filing appeals.