TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Health care sign-ups fall short of goal outlined in memo to Sebelius

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 9:12 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — For the first month alone, the Obama administration projected that nearly a half million people would sign up for the new health insurance markets, according to an internal memo obtained by The Associated Press. But that was before the markets opened to a cascade of computer problems.

If the glitches persist and frustrated consumers give up trying, that initial goal, described as modest in the memo, could slip out of reach.

The Sept. 5 memo, for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, lists monthly enrollment targets for each state and Washington through March 31, the last day of the initial open enrollment period under President Obama's health care overhaul.

The new online insurance markets, called exchanges in some states, are supposed to be the portals to coverage for most of the nation's nearly 50 million uninsured people. Middle-class people without job-based coverage can shop for subsidized private plans, while low-income people are steered to an expanded version of Medicaid in states that have agreed to expand that safety net program.

Although the Oct. 1 start of the markets was a top priority for the White House, the rollout was quickly overwhelmed by computer problems, and many potential customers still have not been able to enroll. Insurers say sign-ups are coming through, but slowly. The Obama administration has refused to release enrollment numbers.

A surge of interest by consumers going online appeared to trigger the problems, which also seem to involve underlying software flaws and design shortcomings undetected or overlooked in testing.

The administration is holding the explanation close, while working feverishly to fix the glitches — with incomplete results so far.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Boy Scouts of America votes to end controversial ban on openly gay leaders
  2. Police try to see if man killed by escort was linked to crimes against women
  3. House Benghazi panel says State Department to hand over documents Tuesday
  4. ‘Aggressive’ search under way for 2 Florida teens lost on fishing trip
  5. Oklahoma court: Ten Commandments monument at Capitol must go
  6. El Niño helps, harms economies
  7. House backs bill to help vets who’ve suffered sexual assault
  8. Lawyers: Immigrant mothers coerced to wear ankle monitors in Texas
  9. Outside attorneys to help investigate Bland death in Texas jail
  10. House, Senate clash over highway funds before Friday deadline
  11. Nuke arms program gets 4-star leadership