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Only 346 Oklahomans have selected an 'Obamacare' health insurance plan

by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: November 13, 2013

Only 346 Oklahomans have selected a health insurance plan over the past month through the federal health insurance marketplace, according to federal government data released Wednesday.

The marketplace, available on, was created through the  Affordable Care Act, also referred to as “Obamacare.”

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the first month of data for the Health Insurance Marketplace initial open enrollment.

So far, between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2:

  • 346 people have selected a marketplace plan
  • 6,905 applications have been completed in Oklahoma.
    • Note: A “completed application” means “the total number of electronic and paper applications that were submitted to the Marketplace during the reference period with sufficient information to begin performing eligibility determinations for enrollment in a plan through the Marketplace and, if the applicant applied for insurance affordability programs, sufficient information to begin performing eligibility determinations for advance payments of the premium tax credit and cost-sharing reductions, as well as to begin eligibility assessments or determinations for Medicaid and CHIP.”
  • 14,169 people are represented in those completed applications.
  • Among the people who completed applications:
    • 9,952 were eligible for a marketplace plan
    • 1,432 were eligible for financial assistance, also referred to as subsidies
    • 2,412 were determined eligible for Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program
    • 1,805 applications were “pending/other.”
      • Note: “Pending/Other” means: A derived estimate for individuals who have a completed and processed application, who either: 1) have a pending eligibility determination or assessment for Marketplace plan or Medicaid/CHIP coverage; 2) have a completed eligibility determination or assessment for Marketplace plan or Medicaid/CHIP coverage that is not captured in the relevant column in this table for a given state due to system issues; or 3) have been deemed ineligible for Marketplace plan coverage.

These numbers seem pretty small, considering the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 256,000 Oklahomans are eligible for subsidies and 446,000 Oklahomans could enroll in the marketplace.

That means seven out of every 10,000 residents who could enroll in a plan through the marketplace have selected a plan. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on a conference call with reporters Wednesday that the data was not yet available for the number of people who have actually paid for that coverage.

The deadline to enroll for coverage is Dec. 15 if you want your coverage to begin Jan. 1.

As this Oklahoma Watch story points out, fewer than 100 Oklahomans have likely paid for coverage:

Fewer than 100 Oklahomans successfully purchased health coverage through the Obama administration’s glitch-afflicted insurance marketplace during its first 2½ weeks of operation, state officials said Friday.

Deputy State Insurance Commissioner Mike Rhoads said an informal survey by his department determined that between 74 and 82 policies had been issued by Friday, Oct. 18, by the five insurers participating in the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

The figure was imprecise because two companies provided a range instead of a specific number, he said.

“This is simply a snapshot,” Rhoads said. “But it’s a small, small number.”

by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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