USA Today reported that States with their own health insurance exchanges reported an increase of 30% to 40% in enrollments. In the first week of December, 50,000 people signed up for insurance in California. Last week, 15,000 people were signing up every day. "We're seeing huge interest," said Peter Lee, director of California's exchange, during a conference call sponsored by Families USA, a health care advocacy group that supports the Affordable Care Act. Six months ago, "no American knew about" the state exchanges.
In Connecticut, Kevin Counihan, chief executive officer for Access Health CT, said 47,000 people have enrolled, and the site is seeing 1,400 enrollments a day. It also is receiving three times the number of phone calls as when the website launched.
In Kentucky, enrollments have increased 40% since Thanksgiving, said Carrie Banahan, executive director of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange. As of Wednesday, 92,000 people had enrolled, about 70,000 of whom signed up for Medicaid.
States that have expanded Medicaid coverage and spent millions promoting their exchanges are seeing an increasing diversity among the people buying insurance and the types they are purchasing. The numbers show interest in buying insurance is increasing after the initial problems that hurt the site when it launched Oct. 1.
The plans are set up so people can compare benefits and costs of each insurer, and they're laid out as "metals" so people can quickly determine a benefit level. The levels, starting with the lowest, are bronze, silver, gold and platinum.