What’s Next for the Federal Exchange?

HHS announced that less than 27,000 Americans signed up for insurance coverage in the first five weeks of its rollout.  To be clear, 26,794 people signed up for private plans through the federal exchange while nationally, a total of more than 106,000 Americans signed up for coverage through exchanges, including state-run exchanges.  Although there are still issues with HealthCare.gov, officials say it is improving daily and that enrollment figures are expected to increase.  Some Republicans lawmakers argue that the enrollment figures have been inflated and that the website was never designed to handle much traffic.

Government officials are scrounging for ways to make the rollout more successful.  So far, three policy changes have been proposed including delaying the individual mandate and its associated tax penalty for failing to buy coverage, extending the open enrollment period to buy coverage, and allowing individuals with plans that have been canceled to keep their plans through 2014.  So far, no decisions have been made.

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