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Press release: CMS OPERATIONAL BACKGROUND ON THE HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE SUNDAY March 30, 2014

Date
2014-03-30
Title
CMS OPERATIONAL BACKGROUND ON THE HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE SUNDAY March 30, 2014
For Immediate Release
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Contact
press@cms.hhs.gov

CMS OPERATIONAL BACKGROUND ON THE HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE 

SUNDAY March 30, 2014

As anticipated, in the final weekend of this historic first ever open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace consumers nationwide are rushing to meet the March 31 deadline to enroll in affordable health coverage.     

Open enrollment ends tomorrow, March 31, 2014.  Consumers should act now to enroll in coverage this year.

  • CMS’ Exchange Operations Center continues real time monitoring of HealthCare.gov systems around the clock to ensure a smooth consumer experience.  Over the past week the site has handled record consumer demand well – supporting more than 8.7m visits since last Sunday, with 2 million alone this weekend.  The site continues to perform well under the largest sustained period of volume to date with average response times less than 400 milliseconds and an error rate of 0.5%.  
  • The 24/7 call center that supports the Health Insurance Marketplace has taken a record number of calls from consumers – in the last week alone the call center took more than 2.5 million calls, compared to 2.4 million for the entire month of February.  
  • The Marketplace Call Center is likely to break the 1-800-Medicare call center’s record of 646,000 calls in a single day –set on the last day of the initial open enrollment period for Medicare Part D, May 15, 2006.  Top Marketplace days to date: December 23 – 564,000 calls; March 28 – 537,000 calls.
  • In the last week the HealthCare.gov team has sent emails to millions of people and more than 65,000 text messages to consumers reminding them of the steps they need to take to complete enrollment before the March 31 deadline.
  • And the comments left on HealthCare.gov’s Facebook page this weekend tell the real story:
    • Jason W.: My mom and dad FINALLY have insurance for the first time ever. Very affordable! It's not about politics, it's about PEOPLE!!
    • Richard B.: I signed up for health insurance earlier this week on HealthCare.gov -- no sweat!
    • Phillip B.: I just signed up. I lost coverage from company. I am now paying less each month now in premiums and have better coverage! Thank you!
    • Lori L.: Husband has MS his meds are $55k per year. Thanks baby Jesus he will never ever be denied coverage or coverage that caps out.
    • Erica M.: I've been lucky to have always had insurance but when your monthly premium is greater than your mortgage AND car payment, it's not affordable. Thanks to the ACA, my and my sons pre-existing conditions don't matter and we pay a bit less than a third for identical coverage for a family of eight.
    • Helen T.: Woohoo!! 3 young adults signed up in my family this month, all with small to no subsidies. They are all under 26 and bought silver plans. I'm very proud of all of them!
    • Cheryl B.: I'm happy with the plan I chose. I haven't had health insurance since 2003. The ACA made it possible for me to purchase health insurance and actually get some benefits from it for the money I'm paying out in premiums. Pre-ACA I would have paid $279 per month, had a $10,000 deductible that had to be met before anything was covered and I would have had a 30% co-pay on everything after the deductible was paid. Now, I pay $349 per month (I don't qualify for a subsidy), have a $1,650 deductible with a maximum medical expense payout of $6,350. Best part is many services are covered before I meet my deductible, $30 office visits, $40 urgent care visits, 100% on lab & pathology and any preventative services & screenings mandated by the ACA are covered 100%. I would have preferred a single payer system or at the very least a public option, but at least the ACA makes it to where I am actually getting something for my money, rather than nothing.

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