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The difficulties of massive healthcare enrollment

Posted On Fri, August 19, 2011

As the debate over the legality of the national healthcare plan wages on in federal courts across the country, a larger and simpler problem may be overlooked - getting the uninsured to enroll in a coverage plan, according to the Washington Post.

The Congressional Budget Office's analysis of the healthcare legislation estimates that 34 million Americans will be eligible for insurance coverage by 2021, at a net cost to the federal government of approximately $1.042 billion over the next decade.

As the insurance coverage mandates change, individuals will no longer go into a default program, they will receive Medicaid, buy exchanges with adjusted insurance rates, or enroll in a privatized program.

In an effort to help Americans who had previously been denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, the government created high-risk insurance pools, assuming a flood of people would join the plan. Contrary to expectations, the enrollment in the program has remained low, and only 12,437 Americans had signed up by mid-August, possibly not even receiving medical insurance quotes.

In an effort to get out ahead of the potential under-enrollment issue, some experts recommend using the Children's Health Insurance Program as a model to follow. The plan provides coverage to children and their families who cannot afford it otherwise. Since its inception, the number of insured children has steadily increased every year. 

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