About 365,000 people signed up for private health insurance through federal and state exchanges under Obamacare in October and November, according to data released by the Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday. But the sign-up rate has varied widely from state to state.
If you live in Vermont, you’re seven times more likely than the national average to have signed up for Obamacare by now. If you live in Hawaii, you’re only one-fourth as likely as the national average.
This chart shows which states are doing well, and which ones are doing badly, at signing up for Obamacare:
The first thing that jumps out is that the nine states with the highest enrollment by share of population all run their own exchanges — which, in general, have been working much better than Healthcare.gov, the federally-run exchange. The 14 states running their own exchanges are indicated in red on the graph.
Vermont has, by far, the highest rate of sign ups as a share of its population: 0.8%. It’s followed by Connecticut, Kentucky and California. Because of its large population, California accounts for about 30% of total Obamacare sign-ups, at 107,087. New York, another state running its own exchange, has provided more than 45,000 enrollments.
Nationally, only 0.12% of Americans signed up for private health insurance made available by the Affordable Care Act between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30; that figure must rise to 2.2% for the Obama Administration to reach its goal of 7 million sign-ups by March 31.
In general, the states with the fewest sign-ups rely on the federally run exchange, the infrastructure of which has been plagued by technical problems. Website performance has improved over time and enrollments have been accelerating. But some state-based exchanges are doing even worse than the federal one.
Oregon, which runs its own exchange, has enrolled virtually none of its population. In fact, its website is so plagued that it has only enrolled people through a paper application process, according to the Washington Times. HHS reports just 44 enrollments in private insurance through Oregon’s exchange as of Nov. 30, though a local press report puts the figure at 217. Either way, the figure is dismal.
Hawaii and Massachusetts are also poor performers, challenging the stereotype that state-based exchanges outperform the federal exchange.
Mapped, here’s a look at the varied sign-up rate by state: