While the federal health insurance portal HealthCare.gov has been ridden with problems, outages and snafus, New York State's own omnibus site for health insurance - nystateofhealth.ny.gov - has been held up as smashing success.
Yesterday, the New York State Department of Health released numbers showing that 48,162 New Yorkers enrolled in health insurance plans through the site. About 197,011 New Yorkers have completed the full application process and also deemed eligible for low-cost insurance health plans but have not yet selected what plan they want. The state has estimated that about three quarters of all enrollees are eligible for financial assistance. Data was not released showing the ages of enrollees, or whether the site was attracting younger, healthier enrollees many experts have said would need to sign up if the Affordable Care Act is to be a success.
The site crashed the first day and had time outs the first week due to the spectacular volume of people who visited it, acknowledged Bill Schwarz, spokesman for the NYS DOH, "but we quadrupled that capacity and did software modifications so the processing speeds are now as fast as on any site." Since then, it has been running well, he said.
According to state data, the rates for health plans on NYSOH represent a 53% reduction in cost compared to the previous year's individual rates.