Enrollment in private health care plans through the federal and state marketplaces hobbled along at one-fifth the pace that government officials had projected it would in its first month of operation, the Washington Business Journal reported.
In Iowa, more than 5,500 residents completed applications seeking coverage for themselves and family members for a total of nearly 10,900 applicants in the first month, according to an Iowa summary from a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report posted on the Iowa Insurance Division's website.
Of those applicants, about 6,100 were found to be eligible to enroll in a private health insurance plan offered through the marketplace. About one-third of those 6,100 eligible people were at an income level that qualified them to receive tax credits to help pay for coverage.
And out of the 10,900 total applicants, about 4,500 Iowans, or four out of every 10 people who have applied for coverage so far, were assessed as eligible for insurance through Medicaid or the Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa, or hawk-i, program.
Nationally, only 106,185 Americans managed to actually select health insurance plans through Obamacare's online marketplaces in October, according to the Department of Health and Human Services report. HHS originally projected that nearly 500,000 individuals would enroll in insurance plans last month.
Most of those individuals picked plans through the websites operated by 15 states and Washington, D.C. Only 26,794 people, including just 136 Iowans, selected plans through Healthcare.gov, the glitchy marketplace operated by the federal government, during its first month of enrollment activity.
The marketplaces are intended to not only allow people to buy private insurance but also to qualify for government health programs, however. More than 846,000 applications seeking coverage for about 1.5 million Americans have been received, of which Healthcare.gov has processed applications for a total of 210,190 people, including 183,396 who will be eligible for Medicaid or other government programs.