Insurance enrollments through the state’s new marketplace appears to be picking up ahead of the first deadline for coverage.
Connect for Health Colorado officials announced that 1,090 people became enrolled in health insurance coverage Wednesday — a single-day record for the marketplace.
The exchange has suffered from weak enrollment figures since opening Oct. 1. It has repeatedly failed to reach even worst-case enrollment projections despite the fact that the website has performed far better than its federal counterpart.
After passage of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, Colorado lawmakers decided to create a separate exchange for Coloradans. It operates independent from the problem-riddled federal website, Healthcare.gov, which is responsible for enrollments in 36 other states.
Through Nov. 30, Connect for Health Colorado enrolled 9,980 people through exchange-based plans, below the initial worst-case projection of 11,108 enrollments that marketplace officials expected to reach by Nov. 13.
Worst-case projections also had the marketplace enrolling 22,215 people by Dec. 13. To reach that figure, the marketplace must enroll 942 people a day from Dec. 1 through Dec. 13.
Under marketplace officials’ best-case projections, 61,887 would enroll by Dec. 13, while they expected 40,372 to be enrolled by that date under mid-level projections.
Marketplace officials said they expected an enrollment surge as the first deadline for purchasing coverage nears. Anyone who wants their coverage to begin at the beginning of the year must purchase a plan by Dec. 23.
Coloradans can wait until March 31, however, if they don’t mind coverage beginning later in the year.
The enrollment surge has led to longer wait times for people calling into the marketplace’s call center, the largest of which is in Colorado Springs, marketplace officials reported. The busiest times are between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, marketplace officials said.
The shortest wait times are between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., as well as between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The call center is normally open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays. It will be open three extra days, however, to accommodate the expected uptick in enrollments — 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15 and Dec. 22.