Given the huge B2B healthcare company impact from the federal government’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—aka Obamacare—many healthcare purchasers were candidly nervous when version 2.0 of the site opened for business on Saturday (Nov. 15). But the second launch went quite smoothly, according to initial reports.
“The relatively glitch-free beginning was a relief to the agencies, companies, and not-for-profit organizations working to sign up more people for health insurance and renew existing customers’ plans,” said a report in Modern Healthcare.
Land of Lincoln Health, a not-for-profit co-op plan funded with money from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, enrolled “several hundred people” since open enrollment began this past Saturday, and the plan is already receiving payments from consumers, said Land of Lincoln exec Shawn Dorgan, who is in charge of finding and renewing members, the story said. About 6,000 people visited Land of Lincoln’s website over the weekend with no apparent technology issues—an auspicious start for a plan that hopes to have 50,000 covered lives for 2015, the story added.
The Department of Health and Human Services said that more than one million people had visited healthcare.gov as of Nov. 17 and its call center handled more than 200,000 calls over the weekend.
“The first 48 hours went very smoothly,” Lisa Rubino, a senior vice president at Molina Healthcare who oversees the company’s exchange business, told Modern Healthcare. “We didn’t see many of the glitches we saw last year,” she said. “I think all of the work CMS did in terms of testing really paid off.”
Officials said the state exchanges also fared well.
In Massachusetts, for example, payers helped about 3,600 individuals and families select health plans in the first two days. That total is about 11 percent of all people who enrolled on the Massachusetts exchange last year, the story noted. Nearly 2,200 people enrolled in an ACA-compliant health plan, dental plan or Medicaid plan on Kynect, Kentucky’s insurance exchange, over the weekend. MNsure, Minnesota’s exchange, said 500 people got health insurance over the weekend with minimal technology problems.