Obamacare Enrollment: 5 States With the Most Impressive Numbers

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There's no spinning the reality of the initial Obamacare enrollment numbers. They're abysmal.

Only 106,185 Americans signed up for health insurance between Oct. 1 and Nov 2 -- barely one-fifth of the expected total. The situation could have been much worse were it not for a handful of states that operated their own health insurance exchanges. Several of those states fared much better than most. Here are the five with the most impressive Obamacare enrollment numbers as a percentage of potential market size.

5. Washington
Washington claims 7,091 residents who selected a health plan through the state's online exchange. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Washington's potential market size for individual health insurance stands at around 507,000. This puts the state's enrollment rate as a percentage of the overall market at 1.40%, edging out New York for the fifth spot in our ranking.

4. Rhode Island
It's the smallest state in geographical area, but Rhode Island ranks much higher in terms of Obamacare enrollment. The state had 1,192 individuals sign up for health insurance. While that's lower than Washington and a few other states, those enrollees make up 1.7% of Rhode Island's estimated market size of 70,000.

3. Kentucky
Kentucky garnered praise for its exchange launch, especially compared with the federally operated website. The Bluegrass State signed up 5,586 citizens for health insurance in the first month of operation. This number amounts to 1.85% of the state's potential market size of 302,000.

2. Connecticut
Connecticut enrolled fewer residents than Kentucky -- 4,418 in total. However, the state also has a smaller potential market as estimated by Kaiser, with around 216,000 individuals potentially needing health insurance. As a result, Connecticut takes the No. 2 spot on our list with an enrollment rate of 2.05%. 

1. Vermont
Vermont stands at the top of the Obamacare enrollment ranking, although only 1,325 Vermonters signed up on the state's exchange. Despite this low number, it still easily vaulted Vermont to the lead position -- because the figure equates to 2.94% of the potential market of 45,000.

Impressing and depressing
Using just the federally operated websites as a benchmark, the enrollment numbers of these five states are relatively impressive. The top five states signed up 19,612 individuals. That's almost three-fourths of the total enrollment of the 36 states using combined.

We're still only talking about minuscule numbers, though. WellPoint (NYSE: ANTM  ) , for example, participates in the exchanges of two of the states making our list -- Connecticut and Kentucky. Yet even if every single person enrolling in those states chose WellPoint, the premiums thus far would barely amount to a rounding error for the big insurer.

The nation's largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH  ) , opted not to participate in most of the state exchanges and didn't do so in any of the five states ranked highest in terms of Obamacare enrollment. Even if it had and every person signing up picked a UnitedHealth plan, it would take 15 months at the current pace of enrollment to amount to just 1% of the company's total commercial membership.

Unfortunately, the hopes for many companies -- insurers, hospitals, and others -- intending to benefit from a surge of newly insured Americans compliments of Obamacare are fading. Humana (NYSE: HUM  ) recently slashed its enrollment projections by around 50%. That cut could actually prove to be too optimistic, although the company expects the Obamacare open enrollment period to be extended and perhaps allow more Americans to sign up for insurance. 

There is at least one winner so far, though. CGI Group (NYSE: GIB  ) , the major contractor involved in developing the federally run Obamacare website, has received nearly $200 million (not counting its assistance on state-run exchanges) -- and could stand to make even more. With options included, the company's federal contract is valued at more than $290 million. That amounts to a cost of more than $2,700 per person enrolled in Obamacare nationwide during the first month. Impressive -- and depressing at the same time.

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Read/Post Comments (10) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 10:59 AM, skypilot2005 wrote:

    OBama Care needs to be ended. It was sold to the people under false pretenses.

    “President Obama said at least 24 times, “If you like your health plan, you can keep it.” & “If you like your Doctor you can keep them.” Now we learn that the administration knew from a 2010 HHS report that as many as 93 million Americans could lose their health insurance because Affordable Care Act implementation makes them illegal.”

    “With the Obamacare website a technical disaster, people losing policies cannot even find out how much Obamacare replacements will cost them. In 44 states, replacement policies are predicted to cost substantially more, except those that taxpayers subsidize.”

    If a Republican had none something like this the Democrats and their media allies would be calling for their impeachment.

    What a terrible double standard.


  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 11:09 AM, JePonce wrote:

    It is well documented that Obama deliberately lied to the citizens to advance Obamacare, which is merely another Democrat tax redistribution program. His constant mantra of “If you like your policy, you can keep your policy. Period! If you like your Doctor, you can keep your Doctor. Period! The average insured will save $2,500 per year,” proved unequivocally not true. All Congressional Democrats participated in the lie, and voted for it.

    This transgression is not just a domestic issue, but a major international issue carried in the news papers of most countries in the world. What confidence can our allied leaders have in the words of our president with regard to the U.S. being a reliable arbitrator over Iran, the Middle-east, free trade, world economic matters, and the many other issues that extend beyond our borders? How can our enemies capitalize by knowing that the words of the most powerful Leader in the free world may be untrue?

    When you add the Obama international spying scandal, one can imagine that our President has set back international relations 100 years.

    President Obama will not just be judged by the 51 percent of Americans that voted for him, and the 49 percent that voted against him, he will be judged by the citizens of the world.

    How do we, as a nation, recover from this disaster?

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 11:38 AM, altmd71 wrote:

    It would be important to know how many of those enrolled are in Medicaid or subsidized plans as compared to full paying plans. The taxpayers are going to be stuck with paying that bill and I'll bet it is not going to be cheap.

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 3:56 PM, Yesican wrote:

    why are Americans being fooled? How comes a president is trying to put rules in place to prevent people from being scammed by insurance companies, trying to ensure that people are secured healthwise and others just hate him for trying to help out? Go to Europe and Canada and see how healthy they are. 75% of americans visit the hospital at emergency situations. People pay full coverage but pay more money when sick! The rich supporting the failure of obamacare/ACA are being sponsored by the very insurance companies selling bad policies or are share holders of these insurance companies selling scam policies.

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 6:43 PM, Stevegarry22 wrote:

    Notice the 5 states. All states with NO voter ID and millions of welfare baby breeders!

    The only fools signing up for odumbocare are freeloaders!

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 6:48 PM, Mathman6577 wrote:

    I wouldn't celebrate these numbers. Nothing to brag about.

  • Report this Comment On November 18, 2013, at 12:57 AM, DevonShire123 wrote:

    Do these idiots think their readers don't know that they are nothing more than cheer leaders and propagandists for the White House? Do they honestly think they can somehow hypnotize the public into not knowing Obamacare is a clusterF**k? I mean, yeah, the government's done a spectacular job of dumbing down the People through inadequate schooling and fluoride in the tap water, but come on. We've a ways to go before this kind of clap-trap will pass as "news."

  • Report this Comment On November 18, 2013, at 8:02 PM, foolishlymeek wrote:

    I agree with altmd71. I'd like to know how many of these people are getting free or subsidized insurance. In addition, I would guess that most of the people are not the young, healthy individuals needed to balance the premiums of older, sicker Americans.

    Obama has now decreed (in a press conference!) that five million people can keep their policies that were canceled, assuming the insurance companies and states agree. (Unfortunately, it's tough to undo three years' work in 31 days!) If we have two tiers of insurance - the "sub-standard" policies and the exchanges - Obamacare is headed for disaster.

    I really hope that Obamacare collapses on itself. Unfortunately, this law has added so many taxes and regulations in the last three years, it has done unaccountable damage to the American people and our economy.

    We need health reform to help the uninsured. However, unraveling the policies of 85 percent of Americans to help 15 percent is not prudent policy!

  • Report this Comment On November 26, 2013, at 2:08 AM, boz428 wrote:

    All of you naysayers who clearly, from reading, have a general ax to grind against progressives and specifically against Obama--I am in Washington State; I just signed up today with the exchange. It took me 20 minutes to find out that I am eligible for many products costing me as low as $104 a month. I have three pre-existing conditions: all are genetic and have killed both of my grandfathers and my father. I am now nearly 60 years old. NO insurance company would touch me for an individual plan and I have had to work at crappy jobs managed by inept, dishonest, and uncaring people even though I was working in social services, just to get insurance. None of these managers give on wit about their workers and none of them are real "job creators". I have been a job creator: I founded a business that employed over 60 people within one year of opening the doors. These managers took over businesses and then went about lining their pockets with money that should have gone to the care of very sick, vulnerable (and NO, not because of their life styles or choices) people and making themselves feel important, big fish in small ponds.

    Now, thanks to the ACA those people I have treated and cared for for years will finally get adequate and managed health care and so will I!! You all should sit down, shut up, and quit trying to hurt people with lies, innuendo, selfishness, and propaganda. Goebbels would be proud of the right wing machine (and no, I am not calling the GOP nazis; I am merely citing the creator of the concept: "Tell a big lie; tell it over and over and over again and soon it will become TRUTH"). Well, you all are on the losing side, of history and of this bill. Oh by the way, it IS the law of the land. So quit being bad losers and quit trying to sell to the public these outlandish lies with the hope that you can still use your money to make your lives better (nothing I am against) to the detriment of real people. I wonder how many of you have lowered yourselves to even take a minute to see how so many in this great country are having to live because you all take and take and take. I doubt any of you have.

  • Report this Comment On November 26, 2013, at 2:09 AM, boz428 wrote:

    BTW the figures listed here are not up to date for Washington State. While I was working with a navigator she showed me that nearly 90,000 people here have signed up and have chosen a plan and bought it. Liars~!

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