Healthcare enrollment grows in West Virginia - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Healthcare enrollment grows in West Virginia

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There's a healthy boost in the number of Americans signing up for health insurance through the federal marketplace exchange. The Department of Heath and Human Services reported the number of people signing up doubled in November compared to October, bringing the total to nearly 365,000.  

West Virginia health officials are seeing a similar trend. Fred Earley, president of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia, said 1,267 people have enrolled in plans as of last Friday.   That's drastically more than the 198 people who were enrolled on November 13, according figures released by Highmark.  

"There have been vast improvements since updates to the marketplace website," said Earley. "But our initial forecast was much more than what we are seeing now."   

Highmark is the only health insurance company in the state offering plans on the exchange. Earley said a large portion of new enrollees signed up after the federal government added enhancements to the website.  

Although many of the technical difficulties have been addressed, health officials note that there are still a number of problems on the back end of the system. There is a 10 percent error rate while a person's enrollment information is being transmitted to Highmark. Earley says that if a customer doesn't receive a bill within two weeks, they should contact the company and revisit the website.