“We don’t have that data,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Thursday.
Several insurers said they are receiving at least sporadic enrollment reports from the Department of Health and Human Services, which is running the insurance marketplaces for 34 states that have declined to set up their own exchanges.
The department said early Thursday that it added computer servers to the federally run marketplaces to handle higher-than-expected traffic and assigned additional engineers to speed up the site so it can handle a higher volume.
The agency said these changes have reduced by one-third the number of people waiting to apply for insurance on the federal site, HealthCare.gov. Waiting times for people wanting to speak to a representative at the government’s call center have been cut in half since the marketplaces began operating Tuesday.
“In the last two days, 7 million Americans have visited HealthCare.gov to learn about their options,” HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters said in an e-mail. “Experts are working around the clock and were able to expand system capacity somewhat overnight, cutting by one-third the volume of people waiting to apply. Work on the site continues today to meet the demand and excitement generated in just the first 48 hours of our open enrollment.”
Cigna, which is selling plans on five state marketplaces, began receiving enrollments Wednesday night.
“Most of day one and two we didn’t see enrollments,” Cigna spokesman Joe Mondy said. “But we’ve been able to start getting enrollments as of last night.”
Mondy confirmed that Cigna has received enrollments in Florida, one of the states where the federal government is running the marketplaces. Since the online portals opened, they have been plagued by long wait times and error messages that have prevented some people from signing up for the Affordable Care Act’s new insurance options.
Other insurers reported similar results Thursday. Many hesitated to offer specifics, however, because they had yet to verify the information they were receiving from the federal government.
“It’s definitely working,” said Mario Molina, chief executive of Molina Healthcare, which is offering plans in nine states, including several on the exchanges being run by the federal government. “I know people have been having difficulty accessing Web sites, but I am told by staff that they were able to get into every state Web site. It’s working.”
After two days without any word on sign-ups, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana received some reassuring news Wednesday night: Seven people had signed up for its plan on the marketplace that day.