By Mary Agnes Carey
Federal officials said today that during the first week of open enrollment for the health law’s online marketplaces, 462,125 people selected health plans, with just over half of those return customers.
The figures were the first weekly snapshot promised by the Department of Health and Human Services to provide details about exchange enrollment.
The figures are preliminary and cover enrollment from Nov. 15 through Nov. 21 in the federal exchange, used by residents of 37 states.
The remaining states and the District of Columbia run their own marketplaces and their information was not included. The figures may fluctuate from week to week based on a variety of factors, such as consumers changing or canceling plans, officials said.
HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell called the numbers “a solid start” but added the agency has “a lot of work to do every day between now and Feb. 15” when open enrollment ends.
The first week’s tally was a dramatic improvement over last year’s, when healthcare.gov‘s myriad computer problems caused the site to malfunction for millions of people. Some state exchanges also had problems, hindering enrollment efforts. Continue reading