Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Bonus content

December 21, 2013

Obama: 1 million have signed up for health care

Technical snags continue to plague website.

WASHINGTON (AP) — His health care plan facing a dicey transition, President Barack Obama said Friday that insurance sign-ups are surging now that the government’s website is working better for consumers. But it was too soon to say the rollout has turned the corner.

More than 1 million people have enrolled since Oct. 1, Obama said at his end-of-the-year press conference. That’s more than two-and-a-half times the number on Nov. 30, when major fixes to the website were completed. At that point, only 365,000 had signed up through new federal and state markets offering subsidized private insurance.

“That is a big deal,” Obama said of getting coverage for uninsured people. “That’s why I ran for this office.”

Separately, officials said 3.9 million people have qualified for government health care through the law’s Medicaid expansion. Even so, things aren’t exactly humming along.

HealthCare.gov was down for part of the day Friday, as technicians attempted to fix an error that occurred Thursday night when the site was undergoing routine maintenance, officials explained.

The administration cannot afford for the balky website to crash this weekend. Because of Monday’s deadline to sign up so coverage can take effect Jan. 1, unusually heavy traffic is expected on the federal site and those run by states.

Largely hidden from consumers, another set of technical problems is frustrating insurers, who say the government continues to send them inaccurate data on some enrolled individuals. Insurers call some of those jumbled enrollment files “orphans” and others “ghosts.”

They could turn into gremlins after Jan. 1 for some patients trying to use their new coverage. Consumers might show up at the pharmacy counter or doctor’s office only to be told they’re not in the system.

That’s not the only potential issue. Administration officials are scrambling to prevent breaks in coverage among more than 4 million people whose individual policies were cancelled this fall because they did not meet the law’s requirements. An estimated 500,000 have yet to secure new coverage. On Thursday, the administration said those individuals would not be penalized for remaining uninsured, and that they could also have access to special bare-bones catastrophic insurance plans.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Bonus content
  • Auto Show Hyundai-3 [Duplicate] Hot models at this year's New York Auto Show NEW YORK (AP) — With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the U.S. auto industry. Here are some of the vehicles debuting this year. The show opens to the public Friday. HY

    April 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • Dress Coded [Duplicate] Dress codes: Where should schools set limits? EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — They're called leggings — popular fashion items that are tight-fitting pants to some, and glorified tights to others. Younger girls often wear them as pants with little fuss. But as those same girls approach middle school, legg

    April 16, 2014 4 Photos

  • Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings MURRYSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Classes resumed Wednesday at a Pittsburgh-area high school where authorities said a student stabbed or slashed 21 others and a security guard a week ago while rampaging through a hallway with two kitchen knives. Before school

    April 16, 2014

  • Why high oil prices are actually good for airlines NEW YORK (AP) — Airline executives frequently complain about fuel costs. But the truth is higher prices actually have been good for business. In the past six years, airlines have overhauled the way they operate to adjust to this new reality. They've

    April 16, 2014

  • Gardening-Deer-Proof Bulbs [Duplicate] Bulbs, yes, but no food for deer Chomping down on a rosette of freshly emerging tulip leaves is just the thing to drive away winter doldrums — for deer. Crocuses probably taste almost as good to them. There's no need, though, for us humans to forsake the blossoms of spring bulbs; t

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Go For The Food Philadelphia-3 [Duplicate] Philly's 13th St. brings good luck to great food PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Tourism officials will tell you the restaurant-rich area at the heart of downtown is called Midtown Village, but that moniker hasn't entirely caught on with the locals. The good news is that it doesn't matter what you call it. Ph

    April 15, 2014 4 Photos

  • Fatal Shooting Kansas [Duplicate] Supremacist faces murder charges in Kansas deaths OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Kansas prosecutors filed state-level murder charges Tuesday against the white supremacist accused in shootings that left three people dead at two Jewish community sites in suburban Kansas City. Frazier Glenn Cross faces on

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Social Security Old Debt [Duplicate] People with old Social Security debts get reprieve WASHINGTON (AP) — People with old Social Security debts are getting a reprieve — for now. The Social Security Administration had been participating in a program in which thousands of people were having their tax refunds seized to recoup overpayments

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • CORRECTION Serial Murders Arrests [Duplicate] Police: Suspected killers wore GPS devices ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Two convicted sex offenders dutifully checked in with police every month and wore their GPS trackers around the clock — the rules of parole that are designed to tip off authorities if a freed felon backslides. Yet for at least

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • America 4 Boston Prayer Canvas [Duplicate] 10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. UKRAINE CRISIS IS A TEST OF OBAMA'S RESOLVE President's critics say his tough talk--like his "red line" on Syria--isn't followed by equally to

    April 15, 2014 3 Photos

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller