Will exchange enrollment surge?

The Obama administration will announce later this month that 100,000 people signed up for health coverage through HealthCare.gov in November, according to a person familiar with the federal health insurance exchange website.

That represents about a quadrupling in enrollments from October's lower-than-expected 27,000 sign-ups, showing consumers have been steadily signing up for plans on the online marketplace even before the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services finished major upgrades to the beleaguered website, the source told Bloomberg.

The news comes just as the administration met its self-imposed deadline to improve HealthCare.gov. Federal health officials said the website now is working for most users and ready to handle increased traffic, FierceHealthPayer reported yesterday.

"We're in the process of scrubbing final data and expect to report November numbers in mid-December," HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters told The Hill's Healthwatch. "But we expect that enrollment will increase with the technical improvements we've made, enrollment taking place across our customer service channels, and the surge in enrollment that many states who are running their own marketplaces have reported."

She added that four more months still remain in the open enrollment period, and the agency expects enrollments to increase even higher as they did in Massachusetts and Medicare Part D.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration plans to continue improving the website, including tweaking HealthCare.gov's inability to provide enrollment data and subsidy information to insurers, Bloomberg noted.

To learn more:
- read the Bloomberg article
- see The Hill's Healthwatch article