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Daily Briefing Blog

States start reporting enrollment data, but feds stay mum

Dan Diamond, Managing Editor

After ten days, it's obvious that last week's very real glitches continue to plague the Affordable Care Act's new insurance exchanges. Potential customers continuing to report long wait times, missing data on plans and providers, and a slew of other snags associated with the websites.

But it's also increasingly clear that the 15 state-run health insurance exchanges are in much better shape than their federally run counterparts. And that's why we're starting to get early enrollment data from those states, which experts have generally termed an encouraging start, especially in light of the start-up IT problems.

Kentucky reported this week that nearly 7,000 residents obtained coverage through its Kynect exchange in the first week of operations, with another 8,000 applications completed. And California's exchange—which saw nearly 1 million page views between Oct. 1 and Oct. 5—processed 16,000 applications, officials said on Tuesday, although they haven't released actual enrollment data yet.  

Don't judge the exchanges' fate too soon: Join us for a conversation on November 15 as our experts perform a pulse check on Obamacare.

However, federal officials refuse to release any data about the number of applicants and enrollees who have gone through healthcare.gov, the clearinghouse for the 36 states that rely on the federal exchange's system. It's possible that those numbers are incredibly low, given that healthcare.gov remains incredibly spotty despite HHS's reassurances.

And we still don't know who is signing up for coverage yet—just the customers who have lacked health insurance for years and tend to be older and sicker? Or some of the younger Americans that the exchanges need to keep premium costs down, too?

We did another run-through on the state of the marketplaces; here's the Daily Briefing's rolling look at which exchange websites are still having glitches, as of Oct. 9, 12:30 p.m. ET.