With new technology in place, healthcare signups rolled in to Maryland’s health exchange during the first week of open enrollment, according to state data.
Data released by the state this week indicate that 25,780 people enrolled in a plan at the website in the first week of signups (Nov. 15-24). That’s a stark difference from the first week the site was available to the public last year. During the first week of enrollment in October 2013, a total of 326 people successfully signed up for a plan.
About 15,000 of the people who enrolled were signed up for healthcare plans, while another 11,000 enrolled in Medicaid. About 32,000 people created accounts, while nearly 80,000 visited the application website.
In a news release, officials attributed the difference to the new version of the website. After repeated crashes and confusion in 2013, the state scrapped the old version of the site and the contractor who built it. The new contractors modeled their version off of Connecticut’s exchange, and state officials say it’s working much better.
“The system is responding very well for users and navigators,” Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, chairman of the board of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, said in a news release.
Along with the new platform, some of the website’s improved features include anonymous browsing and an automated rules engine that determines whether users are eligible for coverage, and sends their applications directly to insurance companies.
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