The Washington Post

29,000 Americans enroll under in 2 days, officials say

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) visits the D.C. HealthLink Web site from his office computer. (Office of House Speaker John A. Boehner) House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) visits the D.C. HealthLink Web site from his office computer. (Office of House Speaker John A. Boehner)

Roughly 29,000 Americans signed up for insurance on between Dec. 1 and 2, according to an individual familiar with the figures who asked for anonymity to discuss ongoing operations.

That total exceeds the total number of Americans who enrolled online between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2, which was 26,794. The government defines enrollment as an individual who has successfully signed up for a plan.The new total, while short of the pace needed to reach the administration's target of 7 million enrollments by March 31, shows the federal health insurance marketplace is working much more smoothly than it was at its Oct. 1 launch.

Before this weekend, the previous high was more than 9,600, on Nov. 26, according to another government official who asked not to be identified to discuss the site's operations.

In a briefing with reporters Wednesday, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid spokeswoman Julie Bataille declined to provide a recent enrollment figure, saying, "We are still scrubbing those numbers right now."

"We expect our numbers to increase, given the technical improvements to the Web site," Bataille said, adding that the agency was "on track" to report updated figures by the middle of the month. "We do anticipate those numbers will grow."

Bataille said the site remained "stable" with an error rate of 0.6 percent, and an average load time of 630 milliseconds, or a little over half a second.

She also said visitation to the site is now 80 percent higher than it was when the system was experiencing serious problems.


Have you used the new health insurance exchanges? Tell us about your experience here

Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's White House bureau chief, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.



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