Obamacare Enrollment: 5 States With the Ugliest Numbers

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The White House said the Obamacare enrollment numbers would be low. And they were right.

Overall, just 106,185 Americans selected a health plan through the Obamacare "Marketplaces" from Oct. 1 through Nov. 2. Federal officials had projected -- and hoped for -- closer to 500,000. At the current rate, it will take five and a half years to sign up the 7 million individuals needed for Obamacare to be considered a reasonable success.

It could be worse. Actually, it is worse -- depending on where you live. Enrollment numbers reported for some states were downright ugly. Statistics for some states (the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Oregon) weren't reported at all. Here are the five states at the bottom of the ranking based on number of individuals selecting health plans as a percentage of potential market size.


5. Alaska
The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that the potential market size for individual health insurance in Alaska is around 78,000. During the first month of operation, a grand total of 53 Alaskans selected a health plan through the website. That's just 0.068% of the potential market.  

4. North Dakota
North Dakota had only 42 intrepid individuals sign up on the Obamacare website . The potential market size for the state is 77,000. Those smaller numbers resulted in North Dakota's having only 0.055% of residents who could sign up for insurance actually doing so. 

3. Iowa
The Hawkeye State's potential market size is considerably larger. Kaiser estimated that 262,000 residents would be in need of individual insurance. However, only 136 Iowa residents -- just 0.052% of the market -- actually enrolled in an Obamacare plan.

2. Mississippi
Mississippi's market size, according to Kaiser, is around 298,000. Only 148 residents in the state signed up on the federal Obamacare website. This reflects a paltry 0.050% of the potential market.

1. South Dakota
The worst state of all in terms of Obamacare enrollment, though, was South Dakota. Just 58 people in the state selected a health plan on That's a minuscule 0.049% of the state's estimated market size of 118,000. There's no word on whether four of those 58 enrollees carried the last names of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln.

Hit with an ugly stick?
Insurers that counted on gaining significant new business through the Obamacare exchanges can't be happy with the underwhelming national numbers. But what was the exposure of the major insurance companies in these five worst states? It's not too bad.

WellPoint (NYSE: ANTM  ) is the one big national insurer that enrolled in every state where it operates. However, of those 14 states, none ranked among the bottom five in enrollment as a percentage of potential market size.

Aetna (NYSE: AET  ) , the third-largest U.S. health insurer, is participating in a handful of state exchanges. Only one of those states -- Iowa -- made our list.Humana (NYSE: HUM  ) , likewise, only counts one state in which it is participating among the bottom five -- Mississippi.

The biggest health insurer in the nation, UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH  ) , took a cautious approach to the Obamacare exchanges. Of the states in which the company participated, none ranked on our list of the worst.

While this is at least a sliver of good news for the insurers, there's more bad news about the Obamacare enrollment numbers for the White House. The figures released by Health and Human Services included anyone who selected a plan, regardless of whether they paid the first month's premium. That's like having a website count as a sale any item included in a customer's online shopping cart before the customer actually pay for the item.

So, basically, we really haven't seen the real Obamacare enrollment numbers yet. The number of Americans truly buying health insurance is probably far uglier than what was announced.

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Read/Post Comments (43) | Recommend This Article (11)

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  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 2:29 PM, JePonce wrote:

    Dreadful legislation always results in dreadful results.

    Obamacare is the worst legislation in U.S. history and yields the worst results in U.S. history.

    As Doctor Carson said, "Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery.

    Obamacare is slavery. The master tells you what you can and cannot do under penalty of fines and/or imprisonment.

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 3:03 PM, notallthetime wrote:

    Yet, Romney care enrolled 123 people the first month. Why isn't that on the list?

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 3:18 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    People making excuses here again ?

    romneys low enrollment numbers or the slow start of Medicare Part D have NOTHING to do with the obamacare numbers !

    Romneys healthcare law did not mess up the entire market , it did not lead to skyrocketing premiums nor insurance cancellations , the overall rate of uninsured in MA was low to begin with and the average household income in MA was above national average

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 3:20 PM, Crask wrote:

    What?! NO TEXAS?!?!?! I was so hoping Texas would be on that list. I am ashamed that one of the most right-wing states in the Union, a place such as TX wouldn't have made it on the top 5 states in rejecting Obamacare. As a Conservative, I am ashamed.

    But at least Alaska's there, at the very top, that's pretty good. Good ole Alaska, the most threatened by a far left military power, yet the one of the most Conservative states in the union. They actually love Palin there.

    Fascinating, the people who Palin governed loved her and hated to see her go, but the people who know of Palin only through the news and media think her to be the stupidest person in the world. Fascinating how those with first hand experience love Palin, those with hearsay, hate Palin . . . It's because of how not-brainwashed the left is . . .LOLOLOLOL

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 3:23 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    Democrats and espececially liberal democrats have a basic lack of knowledge and understanding of free market principles and how people think !

    you want to buy pork chops so you go to the grocery store and buy a pack , you only buy 1 pack because that's all you need , but now the store has a buy 1 get 1 free sale - you more than likely will buy 2 packs even though you only need one BUT you get MORE for the SAME MONEY !

    And this excactly is not the case with obamarecare , sure you get MORE but you PAY MORE too !

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 3:26 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    its funny how the democrats now scramble to save their political fortunes in 2014 , I got the feeling that after Nov 2014 it will be a long time before the dems ever gonna have another majority in the senate or house

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 3:30 PM, RFTECH3000 wrote:

    A few thoughts here :

    We know that in order to get subsidies you MUST enroll through the exchanges !

    The insurance companies participating in the exchanges did so in hope of new customers , but if the enrollment numbers are disappointing then they more than likely will pull out of the exchanges !

    This meaning that the few people who bought subsidized coverage will not be able to renew in 2015 and if there is no insurance company in the exchanges left than they will have to look on the free market but because free market insurance is not subsidized they have to pay a lot more

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 3:51 PM, ezzy333 wrote:

    I think Obamacare is going exactly where they want it. Ruin the insurance companies and end up with a single payer plan, the us government. That is their goal

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 4:03 PM, hicknhixville wrote:

    I wonder if a GOP task hand like Ben Carson were sent to trade places with Solomon Northrup for a dozen or so years on a short staple Louisiana or Texas cotton plantation gang he would come back and still make flippant slavery comments like that.

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 4:42 PM, ivdad wrote:

    Are these numbers those that have gotten access and are actually purchasing the product or those that have looked, selected, but have not agreed to purchase the coverage.

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 5:11 PM, ChetJester wrote:

    Hawaii, DC, and Oregon all running their own sites and focused on new expanded Medicaid outreach efforts. Massachusetts a different case, and may reflect fed failure to mandate standardized data collection/reporting requirements.

    Many factors influence dismally low numbers in AK, ND, IA, MS, and SD, not least of which is their naïve faith in HHS website. Of these states, only ND has gone forward with Medicaid Expansion, IA is seeking a waiver. Mississippi is another story...

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 5:19 PM, mothra85 wrote:

    The Fed Government stated 65% of all enrollee in the Obamacare website are from California and off the Medicaid list . Thought I would let you know that Gov Brown announced last week that in Southern California alone over 100,000 ILLEGALS are new enrollees on the Medicaid list . So you know who is enrolled in the new Obamacare

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 5:20 PM, TYPEONEGATIVE wrote:

    "On November 16, 2013, at 3:03 PM, notallthetime wrote:

    Yet, Romney care enrolled 123 people the first month. Why isn't that on the list?"

    1- We're past a month, almost into the 3rd.

    2- Romneycare was optional, no tax penalty for not using it, nor a mandatory deadline

    3-Romneycare still beat out most of the numbers listed above, so what's your point?

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 6:30 PM, peckbill wrote:

    We need to begin putting out reliable and correct information on the federal medical care act. First, the name of the program is not ObamaCare; Obamacare is a political name given the program so the GOP and Democrats could remember what they were arguing about. President Obama should have nipped this in the butt right away, but something with his name on it got the best of him. The correct name is “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”, best known as the “ACA”. People do no not like nicknames for important programs and the less educated people do not understand the term. Second, there is no specific exemption for Muslims in the ACA; there are some allowable waivers for some church groups but each must be approved individually. Third, I support the ACA as it affords those without medical insurance the opportunity to seek and get much needed medical care. You folks that are rich and buy any medical insurance program you want, those of you with free medical insurance and those of you who are provided medical insurance through your employment help get medical care to everyone that need care. It is not Socialism; it is the American way. Fourth, the data input problems are usual problems associated with new computer monitored programs. Remember garbage in garbage out; you only get the quality you pay for or relative to the overall management of the program. In conclusion, let’s get behind the program and help Americans that need medical help. We will catch some of the crooks; some will figure to make big profits, i.e., politicians, hospitals, doctors, insurance companies and groups (like AIG whom we, the people, had to bail out because of bad investments), just everyday people who are looking to beat the system and make a little money and let us not forget the scam artists; but nothing is ever perfect. Individual cost for the medical coverage is misunderstood and the option of being allowed to keep your current medical insurance are problem items at this time, but things will change as impact items are sorted and changes or waivers are applied properly. You should not listen to rumors or assumptions about what an ACA plan will cost you; you need to go to the ACA site and compare costs with what you currently pay. Whether or not you may keep your current insurance appears to be one of the most problematic items at this time; the GOP has zeroed in on this area for another attempt to repeal the ACA There is a lot of negative advertisement out on the ACA as it will apply to individuals and families; get the facts; go to the experts and get the truth. There still appears to be some unknown cost factors associated with age and current health insurance coverage. A delay until these items are resolved might be appropriate, but what about those who expecting health care coverage because they have none and need it to survive. The ACA will provide medical care for pre-existing conditions for thousands of Americans and it will provide medical insurance to 15 million Americans that do not have medical insurance. The GOP/Tea Party members and lovers have resorted to outright lies and twisted truths concerning ACA; do not listen to them; talk to your friends and other people and tell them the advantage and truth about the ACA. Maybe implementation of the Medicaid portion might be appropriate for people with annual income at or below the poverty levels established by the Federal Government people or those that cannot afford the cost at this time. It is apparent that some adjustments are needed, but the ACA intent and purpose is still a sound way to take care of America. The ACA cost may be less than you expected or it could cost more; the cost depends on the amount of greed that is inbreed of insurance carriers. Remember the GOP is still trying to take funds away from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the GOP is really pushing negative ads and incomplete information with the intent of bringing the ACA down; a lot of the GOP rationale is that Obama is black and the racists in the GOP resents will do anything to discredit Obama. Their actions and apparent agendas is very must in line with those of the KKK. They use the “N: word behind his back and among themselves because they fear reprisals for the racists and bigots they really are. God help the GOP if and when a woman starts kicking their asses in 2016 to get things done; they will literally cry for their Mothers to help.

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 7:25 PM, coopaloop wrote:

    What do you expect from RED STATES???

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 7:27 PM, coopaloop wrote:

    Didn't Sarah Palin QUIT her job as Govenor of Alaska after 2 years? Shame, Shame, Shame.

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 7:45 PM, chillidog10129 wrote:

    I just read peckbill's comment all I can say is wow; wow, and wow. Man you have it bad, real bad. The ACA AKA (ObamaCare) is some of the worst legislation to come out of Washington in decades. I have no problem helping people out I believe that if you want money for something you need to work for it. That said for someone to tell me that I am going to pay even more to the government to support the lazy and deceptive people in this country ummm No I Don't Think So. I am sick and tired of paying 33% of my income to crack heads, drunks, and degenerates. Now you tell me that my tax money is also going to subsidies for the healthcare of these people. The ACA is a democratic liberal curse on America. Barack Obama and the democrats have made the US a laughing stock in front of the entire world. We have to pass it to see what is in it is like buying a car no photos, no description, and an unknown price. So I see this bill for face value this senate and president have spent this country into an oblivion with there stupid bills. Cut up the credit card and pay our loans off. You go GOP cut off all his funding!!!!!!!!!!!

    PS It has nothing to do with misinformation, racism, The KKK, or women

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 8:24 PM, floydhowardjr wrote:

    OBAMACARE! America If you lose your coverage, your doctor, your insurance BLAME a Democrat. Next time you go and vote...remember WHO did this to YOU!

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 8:32 PM, RobinP wrote:

    So My sister called me from Libby MT and apparently we are paying for Single payer coverage for some people !

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 8:35 PM, laljamal wrote:

    it is not that the program is is the it is time to sign up for Medicare plans. There are lots of commercials and insurance companies vying for people on Medicare..The affordable care act (Obama care) has not sent out mail/or advertised on national tv how to sign up for the program. If it is a failure it will not be because it was a bad is because so many people are working to destroy the program..2. poor information and no tv, radio, or other communication concerning how to sign up..

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 8:50 PM, LibertyLane wrote:

    Note to Fed Gov: I don't care about the numbers. Stay out of my health, stay out of my life, stay out of my pocket! Thank you.

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 9:00 PM, tristinstone wrote:

    peckbill, its suppose to be a comment, not a novel about all your families problems for the last 100 years! Sorry you are ignorant enough to believe that Odumaszz care works? thats why the inept president is still in office, because of kool aid drinking anti-Americans like yourself.

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 10:12 PM, Ameritus wrote:

    im on the list for stats on how many americans will pay the penalty next year! Awesome! And im on the list how many young people enrolled for insurance. hope libertylane will agree to that. the bottom line is will the people's will interrupt the ACA or fall in line for ACA to succeed. its too early, be patient and everyone will see.

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 11:14 PM, billzeiger91754 wrote:

    My insurance was cancelled.

    I tried to apply and was told to apply for medical and was rejected and medicaid and was rejected.

    So much for Obamacare. Or as scrooge would say: BAH Humbug!

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 1:25 AM, kirk wrote:

    Where are the TROLLS??? Why their not signing up....

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 2:14 AM, want2skydive wrote:


    Does the United States government product a product that it sells for a profit? I'll give you a minute to think about it.... The answer is No. So when the government gives something away like, I don't know ....subsidies. The money has to come from somewhere....I wonder where they get it from. That's right, TAXES. So let me now ask if the young are needed to cover the old and most young people make crap for money and will get subsidies it will be the government paying for the young and the young thinking they are paying for the old meanwhile its the taxpayer footing the bill. Here drink this koolaide.

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 10:00 AM, Protectoplate wrote:

    All these troubles have come about because of the violation of the principle of church and state.

    To some, our current president is a "god" who can do no wrong. All the trouble we are having is because legitimate criticism of our president is met with the equivalent of cries of "blasphemy."

    I'm beginning to see the utility of the separation ruling, but I wish that there were a clearer way to see when it applies.

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 11:35 AM, fujidan wrote:

    Obama needs to be impeached, Obama's minions all need to be removed from office and this socialist health care law/act needs to be repealed. I am from Iowa, by the way.

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 1:56 PM, PigletOctopi wrote:

    I plan on voting for the candidate that campaigns on repealing Obamacare or ACA or whatever you choose to call it. I don't care what his/her party affiliation is.

    Under Obamacare my husband and my policy through his employer will go up $1400/year. That $1400 should be going into our retirement fund. That is a $1400 lie that Obama is going to cost us.

    If we are forced into the exchanges our insurance will go up $6800 and we will have a lot less coverage. At that rate we will have to raid our retirement fund to pay for it.

    So tell me this, how is this fair to us? Obama gets to lie, and people suffer and the Obama supporters tell us to suck it up. How charitable is that? The liberals claim to be the party of compassion as long as it doesn't effect them.

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 2:20 PM, NotFondOfLibs wrote:

    Pelosi says Democrats will stand tall for Obamacare in 2014. Yeah, that's explains why 39 Democrats voted for the Upton Bill a couple of days ago. Other than David Gregory, there is no bigger woodpecker in the United States than Pelosi.

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 3:26 PM, clutch1958 wrote:

    Didn't Obama quit after 2 years as a US Senator? And didn't Hillary do the same in NY to become SoS? Shame, shame, selective outrage is so unbecoming.

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 5:54 PM, peterwolf wrote:

    No, no. You got that wrong. Those are not the 5 states with the 'ugliest' numbers. Those are the 5 states with people with the most common sense and/or least need to welch off the public trough. Now states like California, for example, are FULL of such people and that's why you see THEIR numbers so high.

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 7:36 PM, chopin wrote:

    please, leave katrina, bush, palin, and romney out of this. don't deflect attention from the true source. obama is the one who , with pilosi and reid , are destroying of sense of medical peace of mind.

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 7:39 PM, chinaman wrote:

    You know peckbill, one of the things that is really starting to bother me is every time I disagree with the president I am called a racist. Why can't I disagree with his policies, and manner of leading the nation without being branded a racist.

    Stop it. I don't care what color he/she is if they will take our nation to a better place.

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 7:48 PM, rwhprism wrote:

    I have to wonder why numbers of Americans desperate for heathcare were so exagerated. Was this a huge sell job, knowing the estimates were bad? Or was this an inept government creating massive expendatures to answer what it considered to be a massive problem? As it stands, 3 trillion spent on 100,000 desperate people signed up is about $30 million EACH. They could have never passed that with truth.

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 8:28 PM, cicimcgoo wrote:

    Yeah Yeah pickbill complaining again about the Rich as if they are some amphibian! You sir are prejudiced of Success, wealth, intelligence and working hard. The poor this and the poor that. AS if we would not take care of the poor. I know...... why don't you become a doctor and work for no money and just work for the poor. Sometimes I am poor and sometimes I am rich. so does that mean sometimes you like me and sometimes you do not.Sometimes I am the klan and sometimes I am not. Your arguments for fascism are not defensible

    As far as lies goes the one you lefties state all the time is that your insurance company can kick you off whenever you want. That is a lie lefty. That is against the law lefty. I know because I was an insurance broker. Many of my clients had the same insurance for 22 years.

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 9:06 PM, 21Bob21 wrote:

    Ugly numbers? These low numbers are a glorious sign that Obamacare will collapse, like most bad laws do.

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 9:12 PM, shitowski wrote:

    These states don't deserve medical care insurance. Single-payer works for all the rest of industrial countries and CA is doing just fine here. Obama chose Romney care in MA to pattern his legislation on?????. These states can rot in hell.

  • Report this Comment On November 18, 2013, at 3:54 AM, LLLB1122 wrote:


    Did I miss when you said YOU HAD PURCHASED YOUR ACA INSURANCE AND HOW MUCH IT COST YOU? I don't think so! I'm sure you are one of the millions of individuals this bill does not affect.

    I am 61 years old and female, do you think I need maternity insurance? I THINK NOT, neither does young single men or most women over the age of 50. Even my daughter at age 35 doesn't need maternity care, since she has had a hysterectomy!

    With several medical conditions that required multiple doctors' appoints a month, do you think I need a well check-up? I think NOT.

    A dear friend had insurance, she is 55 and on dialysis. The insurance sent her a notice of cancellation since in did not meet the government requirements. Doesn't seem fair. It was paying her medical bill. She doesn't have enough credits for Medicare. She has about $30,000 left from Hurricane Katrina, and she is not eligible for Medicaid. AND she can't get on the flipping ACA Website to register. I don't believe her insurance will take her back. She surely doesn't need this headache.

    The U.S. should not have the ability to tell us what insurance coverage we must carry, whether or not we need it. Plus, it will OBAMACARE because it was his big foot in his big mouth that made his mission to make sure it was done is his administration!

  • Report this Comment On November 18, 2013, at 5:14 AM, Widowmaker6 wrote:

    this is a bad law - just like prohibition it needs to be REPEALED; obamaz is stupid and lazy, a speech reader with zero leadership ability, talks too much and acts too little - please just go away loser, OBAMA'S FAULT

  • Report this Comment On November 18, 2013, at 9:07 AM, leo561 wrote:

    So the last time i went to the doctor for anything it was in 1978 for a broken arm in 1985 i started working when i turned 18 and i have paid 232.00 a month for health insurance i have never needed so i have saved up with my insurance $83,520.64 that has been cancelled 2 months ago-so i gave $83,520 to charity called "The Obama insurance scam" they caused me to lose it...

  • Report this Comment On November 18, 2013, at 9:30 AM, CluckChicken wrote:

    "so i gave $83,520 to charity called "The Obama insurance scam" they caused me to lose it..."

    Obama or no Obama you don't get money back from insurance you don't use. Do you even understand how insurance works?

  • Report this Comment On November 18, 2013, at 10:13 AM, miteycasey wrote:

    This is a bit like the BCS poll.

    When March 31 rolls around let me see the numbers.

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