HHS Secretary Sebelius: Early Exchange Enrollment "Very Low"

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Early enrollment rates for the federal exchange under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will be very low, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the Senate Finance Committee yesterday.

Kathleen Sebelius official portraitHHS plans to release enrollment numbers next week. During the past month, Secretary Sebelius said nearly 700,000 applications have been submitted to the federal and state-based marketplaces, and HealthCare.gov has had more than 20 million unique visits.

Since its launch last month, the federal exchange website has experienced numerous technical issues, such as people not being able to create accounts, frustrating consumers and drawing criticism from the healthcare reform law's opponents. Secretary Sebelius said HHS is working "around the clock" to fix the site and is already seeing improvement. For example, users can now successfully create an account.

The site should run smoothly for the "vast majority" of visitors by the end of this month, according to Secretary Sebelius.

Earlier this week, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner offered similar assurance at a Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee hearing, stating HealthCare.gov can now process nearly 17,000 registrants per hour with almost no errors.

Federal officials overseeing the exchange are currently in the midst of a "tech surge" to fix the site. Consumers should expect more crashes during the improvement process, according to CMS.

More Articles on HealthCare.gov:
Marilyn Tavenner: HealthCare.gov Can Now Process Nearly 17,000 Registrants Per Hour
HHS to Consumers: More HealthCare.gov Outages to Come
PPACA Phone Enrollment Process Also Encountering Problems

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