Roughly 40,000 Americans have signed up for private insurance through the flawed federal online insurance marketplace since it opened six weeks ago, according to two people with access to the figures.
That amount is a tiny fraction of the total projected enrollment for the 36 states where the federal government is running the online health-care exchange, indicating the slow start to the president’s initiative. The first concrete evidence of the popularity — and accessibility — of the new federal insurance exchange emerged as the White House has been preparing to release this week the first official tally of how many people have chosen coverage using the Web site, HealthCare.gov.Reuters reports:
President Barack Obama's healthcare reform has reached only about 3 percent of its enrollment target for 2014 in 12 U.S. states where new online health insurance marketplaces are mostly working smoothly, a report released on Monday said.USA Today reports:
States with functioning exchanges have signed up 49,100 people compared with the 1.4 million people expected to be enrolled for 2014, according to the report by healthcare research and consultancy firm Avalere Health.
With enrollment in the federal HealthCare.gov website serving 36 states stalled by technical failures, the weak sign-ups for functioning insurance exchanges could be due to the administration's difficulty to promote the program as a success, Avalere said.
The government is due to release national enrollment figures for the month of October this week. Open enrollment ends March 31, 2014.
Since the launch of Obamacare, residents nationwide are finding themselves targets of ACA scams. It's making the already-troubled debut of a controversial law even more confusing.
"It's an opportunity for scammers, and scammers very rarely leave an opportunity unfulfilled," said Mark Rasch, a former computer crime and fraud prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice.
The scams come in many forms -- as e-mails, phone calls and imposter websites. Some rely on ignorance about what the health-care law actually covers, such as one touting that recipients could qualify for cheaper auto insurance. (Hint: The ACA does not affect car coverage.) Others are websites designed to look like the government-sanctioned Healthcare.gov.
Most are designed to steal from people, be it their money or their identities, Rasch said.
"They're very difficult to investigate as a scam, because it's not a scam. It's hundreds of scams by thousands of people," said Rasch, who runs Maryland-based Rasch Technology and Cyberlaw.