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Health exchange enrollment low, but growing

Nov 14, 2013 - The Associated Press

CHEYENNE -- Federal figures show that 85 Wyoming residents have registered for private insurance through the federal government's health insurance exchange.

A report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that the federal exchange received just over 1,350 completed Wyoming applications between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2.

Wyoming is one of 36 states relying on the federally run exchange at HealthCare.gov. Problems with that website have prevented many people from completing applications or even registering in some cases.

Only two private insurance companies are offering federally approved health insurance through the exchange: WINhealth and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming. Officials from both companies say they're seeing improvements in the federal exchange lately.

Stephen Goldstone is president of WINhealth. He said Wednesday the federal figures are clearly lagging behind because his company already has about 125 people enrolled through the federal exchange so far.

"We're seeing a rapid increase in the number of enrollees, and the website is functioning much better," Goldstone said.

The Obama administration has made fixing the troubled website a top priority as officials are coming under increasing fire from congressional Republicans to explain the decision to roll out the site early last month before it was functioning properly.

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