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HealthCare.gov Enrollment Falls Far Short of Target

Fewer than 50,000 people had successfully navigated the troubled federal health-care website and enrolled in private insurance plans as of last week, two people familiar with the matter said, citing internal government data.

The figure is a fraction of the Obama administration’s target of 500,000 enrollees for October. The early tally for the HealthCare.gov site, which launched Oct. 1, worries health insurers that are counting on higher enrollment to make their plans profitable.

Technology problems and design flaws have blocked many users from completing insurance applications or even creating accounts to use the site, which serves consumers in the 36 states where the federal government oversees the new health-insurance exchanges.

Scott Trindl, a 59-year-old early retiree in Waukesha, Wis., said he has made attempts at traversing the website part of his daily routine. “I’ve been stuck,” said Mr. Trindl, who hopes the law opens the door to private coverage he has been unable to obtain due to a heart attack he suffered in 2009.

The administration had estimated that nearly 500,000 people would enroll in October, according to internal memos cited last week by Rep. Dave Camp (R., Mich.). An estimated seven million people nationwide were expected to gain private coverage by the end of March, when the open-enrollment period is set to end.




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