By Travis Perry │ Kansas Watchdog
OSAWATOMIE, Kan. — Kansans got their first peek at Obamacare enrollment figures Wednesday, and the news was anything but good.
Over the course of the first month in which individuals could enroll for health insurance coverage through HealthCare.gov, the flagging federal marketplace was only able to successfully enroll 371 Kansas residents.
While that figure is depressing enough on its own, the hits don’t stop there. The number of successful enrollees is absolutely dwarfed by the 19,450 plans that will at some point be canceled because they don’t meet requirements set forth in the Affordable Care Act, according to spokespersons with Blue Cross Blue Shield.
If that number looks higher than expected, there’s a good reason for that: media outlets around Kansas have only been reporting half of the real figure. While BCBS of Kansas has said roughly 9,450 contracts will be non-renewed as a result of the Affordable Care Act, BCBS of Kansas City — which only serves Johnson and Wyandotte counties — has sent out roughly 10,000 cancellation notices.
To make matters worse, that nearly-20,000 figure doesn’t represent the whole picture. Aetna, the parent company for Coventry Health Care, said it doesn’t have a current total of how many plans don’t meet minimum requirements mandated by Obamacare. Additionally, numerous other small health insurance providers in Kansas didn’t return calls from Kansas Watchdog seeking similar statistics.
— Lynn Jenkins (@RepLynnJenkins) November 13, 2013
— Jerry Moran (@JerryMoran) November 13, 2013
ACA Woodwork effect is real. 371 signed up for insurance. 1,718 non- expanded Medicaid eligible. Cost to KS $50M annually. #ksleg
— Jim Denning (@JimDenning4KS) November 14, 2013
President Barack Obama took to the airwaves Thursday morning to quell outrage stemming from the cancellation notices sent to countless Americans nationwide. In response to the backlash, Obama said insurance companies will be allowed to renew for an additional year plans that don’t meet Obamacare’s minimum requirements.
Whether or not that will actually happen isn’t clear. BCBSKS corporate communications manager Mary Beth Chambers said in a statement Thursday afternoon that the Sunflower State insurance provider won’t be making any snap decisions on the matter.
“We look forward to receiving specific guidance from the federal government and direction from the Kansas Insurance Department, and will quickly review the guidance to determine the best course of action for our members and our company,” Chambers said. “We will communicate information directly to members affected by this announcement as soon as possible.”
Keep in mind, Obama’s announcement doesn’t prevent these plans from ever being canceled, it effectively just kicks the can down the road a bit.
Linda Sheppard, special counsel and director of health care policy and analysis for the Kansas Insurance Department, said persistent problems in the opening weeks of the Obamacare rollout led her to expect low enrollment numbers.
“It was not a surprise, but disappointing because we know from our presentations around the state that there is a lot of interest,” Sheppard said.
Enrolling through the online federal exchange “is very clearly hit and miss, you don’t know what’s going to be your experience,” she added.
“Whether or not the commitment at this point that things are going to be better at the end of this month is yet to be seen,” Sheppard noted.
Contact Travis Perry at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter at @muckraker62. Like Watchdog.org? Click HERE to get breaking news alerts in YOUR state!
- Obamacare compliance means less money for TN service agencies
- The mystery of Obamacare spending in Arkansas
- Obamacare raises questions for MD small business owners
- Kansas official on Obamacare: ‘Let someone else be the guinea pig’
- Obamacare insurance marketplace has plenty of kinks on first day
- OR’s Obamacare insurance marketplace hits technological snag
- Fail: Day 1 of the New Mexico Obamacare rollout
- Senator asks: Do you want this dysfunctional government taking over health care?
- Jobs, coverage at risk with Obamacare, MN union health official says
- Oregon’s Obamacare ads resemble middle school art
- VIDEO: Obamacare vs Affordable Care Act: Comedy triumphs in court of confusion
- Patience is key to navigating Illinois’ Obamacare marketplace
- Hawaii residents, lawmakers frustrated with health connector glitches
- Healthy young, key to Obamacare, aren’t buying it
- NM’s health exchange tries to lure ‘young invincibles’
- Obama drama: Senator blames governor for big rate hikes
- Progressive group navigates Oregon students through Obamacare
- Maddening: Trying to log onto federal health care site
- You know that one guy who successfully signed up for Obamacare? He didn’t
- What’s wrong? It’s been a week, and Obamacare website still not working
- HHS Secretary Sebelius back in FL after embarrassing Obamacare rollout
- Health centers enroll Floridians in Obamacare as application problems persist
- VIDEO: Stewart skewers Sebelius on Obamacare
- Obamacare effect? 9 companies exit Nebraska’s health insurance market
- Obamacare: Children of undocumented parents face an uncertain future
- Which way do we go? Obamacare navigator registration in TN in question
- NM health exchange tries to ease problems with Obamacare website
- CPA says hype over Obamacare small business tax credit is misleading
- Obamacare navigator under fire for arrest warrant
- Reports of Obamacare fraud emerge in Tennessee
- After two weeks, FL online Obamacare enrollees are hard to find
- Illinois state governor touts 100K Obamacare enrollees, all in Medicaid
- Kansas lawmaker calls for crackdown on Obamacare navigators
- WI health care exchange seeing few getting through
- Hawaii’s Obamacare exchange relaunches with more glitches
- We’ll know next month how many people in NM signed up for Obamacare — maybe
- Zero: Number of Nebraskans Obamacare navigators have signed up
- It took this Delaware woman 11 days to sign up for Obamacare – and she was the first
- How many people have signed up for health insurance in VA? Who knows?
- What else? NM federal health exchange ads stalled due to website problems
- Blue Cross hires temp workers to deal with Obamacare glitches
- If Obamacare is the next Medicare, will physicians leave en masse?
- Three problems that won’t be solved by fixing the Obamacare exchange glitches
- Plenty of Oregonians interested in Obamacare, but none can enroll online
- Criticize this: Obamacare premiums a near match to WI disclosures
- Report: Missourians will see sharp rise in premiums under Obamacare
- Kansas navigators say they’ve enrolled no one in Obamacare
- Obamacare too costly for rich Coloradans, Democrat congressman says
- Study: Kansas premiums to spike following Obamacare rollout
- Hang on to your candy: Creepy Uncle Sam is back
- Obamacare or bust: NM Watchdog turned back again
- Medical journals, experts refute claim that Medicaid cuts ER use
- Arkansas spends $4M on Obamacare ads, wants more
- LOL: In July video, HHS bragged about being ‘on schedule’ with Obamacare
- Illinois uses Day of the Dead to market Obamacare
- Sebelius denies GOP’s Terry ‘unreliable’ Obamacare info
- About 290,000 Washington residents lose health insurance plans
- Broken promise: Obamacare cancels almost 20,000 Kansas health care plans
- Top hospitals opt out of Obamacare
- Obamacare moves to intensive care
- Obamacare provision could lead to more Medicaid fraud
- Obamacare: Religious groups want to ‘move mountains’
- Obamacare hitting Wisconsin residents with double whammy
- Kansas AG: Obamacare threatens consumer privacy
- 1,500 in New Mexico have to move out of the high-risk insurance pool
- Cover Oregon website fiasco creates jobs, but costs millions
- For Florida’s Obamacare small business exchange, it’s crunch time
- Only 877 Wisconsinites have signed up for Obamacare, federal report says
- Just 172 in NM have completed Obamacare applications: ‘Woefully inadequate,’ says NMIX board member
- With only 346 Oklahomans signed up, leaders decry ‘Obamacare debacle’
- Defying Obamacare: ‘Send them the bill,’ NM insurance official says
- Kansas Obamacare enrollment dwarfed by nearly 20,000 cancellations
- Numbers don’t lie: In Illinois, Obamacare means Medicaid
- Wisconsin governor proposes insurance plan to address Obamacare rollout failure
- Tennesseans might know Tuesday if they can keep canceled health insurance
- People demand answers over Oregon’s Obamacare fail
- Calif. says ‘no’ to Obamacare freebies, makes own law
- HI health exchange violates federal law, League of Women Voters say
- Obamacare video winner: ‘Forget about the price tag’
- Harvard study finds ‘striking’ rejection of Obamacare by young Americans
- HI health exchange has signed up 574 people, for about $348,000 apiece
- Are the uninsured getting Obamacare coverage in Illinois?
- Secret Obamacare handbook the feds don’t want you to see is online
- Lost in translation: Once-supportive Hispanics turning backs on Obama, ACA
- HI Obamacare exchange not fiscally sustainable, lawmakers told
- Illinois’ latest Obamacare targets: gold diggers and momma’s boys
- Now Democrats are bashing California’s Obamacare exchange, too
- Obamacare: For $1.37M we get Richard Simmons in lurid web stream
- Obamacare: A welcome mat for IRS horrors
- California senator seeks audit of state Obamacare exchange
- Report: Hawaii ranks worst for Obamacare signups
- CA senator sues Obamacare exchange for causing policy cancellations of 1M
- Failure of Maryland Obamacare exchange could mean higher premiums in North Dakota
- Video: Watch Creepy Uncle Sam make it rain
- Five bright spots surrounding the Obamacare exchange failures
- Obamacare architect admitted in 2012 states without exchanges lose subsidies