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Highmark: Healthcare.gov's better but still not good enough

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Enrollment numbers on healthcare.gov are improving incrementally, but there is still a need to improve the website's functionality, nonprofit insurer Highmark said today.

Highmark is based in Pittsburgh but has a signficant presence in the midstate. Enrollment in Highmark plans through the federal marketplace through Dec. 9 was 10,112 in Pennsylvania, 1,237 in West Virginia and 651 in Delaware, according to a news release.

Those numbers reflect people who have been loaded to Highmark’s system through completed on-exchange enrollments -- also known as 834s -- that have been verified and processed by the insurer. They may have not yet paid their first month’s premium.

Highmark said it offers the lowest-priced health plans on the marketplaces in Pennsylvania and Delaware, and it is the only insurer in the West Virginia marketplace.

The insurer said it has seen significant interest in its Community Blue plans, which leverage a network of community hospitals and doctors to provide care at a lower price. Of all of the plans sold by Highmark on the federal marketplace, 76 percent of those in western Pennsylvania and 80 percent of those in central Pennsylvania have been Community Blue plans, Highmark said.

Highmark also said ther is a need to encourage consumers to enroll by Dec. 23 for the earliest effective date of Jan. 1, 2014.

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer covers Lancaster County, nonprofits, education and health care. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at heathers@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @StaufferCPBJ.

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