Tens of thousands of individuals have started to sign up for insurance using state exchange websites. California and New York state insurance exchange websites have been garnering consumer attention despite glitches in the federal healthcare.gov website.Covered California might be the best prototype for future state exchanges. Since the exchange's opening on October 1 there have been 16,000 applications completed that will cover 28,000 individuals. Executive director Peter V. Lee authored a thank you letter on the Covered California website to all those who have inquired about insurance.
Covered California's website had over one million unique visitors while 59,000 people called to inquire about the exchange to date. The site also provides snap shot stories of individuals who have purchased insurance through the exchange,
"And, it’s about small business owners, like Travis Sanchez who owns and runs a chiropractic clinic in Salinas. With his partners, Dr. Sanchez has five full time employees; he’s registered to offer them coverage and is excited about the chance to offer his employees coverage and lower the costs that he currently has buying on the individual market. Beyond his interest in covering his business through the SHOP program, Dr. Sanchez is excited about what the Affordable Care Act means for the community he serves – primarily field workers and packing plant employees – the vast majority of whom are lower income and Latino – he told us: “Many of my customers are uninsured or under insured and the ACA and Covered California will provide many of my clients access to affordable insurance”.
If state exchanges continue to pick up enrollment numbers pressure might be pivoted from the federal government to the 19 states that are using federally facilitated marketplaces. For a map of states participation in exchanges click here.