CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- While there's more work to be done on Healthcare.gov, the head of the only company offering insurance plans on West Virginia's Health Insurance Marketplace said he's encouraged by new enrollment figures.
As of Monday, 1,237 West Virginians had enrolled in plans on the federal exchange, according to new information from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.
That's more than six times the number of people who had enrolled Nov. 13, when only 198 people were signed up, according to Highmark.
"[Twelve hundred] is not nearly enough, but we're encouraged, given the up-tick in the last week since the fix," Fred Earley, president of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia, said Tuesday. "A lot more people are getting through."
Highmark is the largest health insurance company in the state and the lone agency offering plans on the exchange.
A large portion of the new enrollees signed up after Nov. 30, when the federal government added enhancements to the website, Earley said.
The federal website has been plagued with technical difficulties and low enrollment numbers since the start of open enrollment Oct. 1. DHHS officials said most of the bugs in the site have been fixed. Ninety percent of users are now able to create accounts on the site, according to a statement released Nov. 30 by the federal government.
Highmark officials said Tuesday that more work needs to be done.
The website is still having problems on the back end, including information that doesn't get properly transmitted to Highmark, Earley said. He added that the website still needs work.
Earley encouraged residents to look at the website to determine how much they would have to pay for an insurance plan. They might be pleasantly surprised, he said. Those who tried to enroll early might be surprised at how well the site is working now, too, he said. Residents who want to have coverage beginning Jan. 1 should sign up by Dec. 23, according to the company.