Oct. 12--In its first 11 days of operation, Oct. 1 through Friday, HealthSource RI fielded 62,000 unique website visits.
Of these visitors, about 5,500 started accounts (created a username and password) and 1,698 completed their applications and selected a health insurance plan.
These numbers were released Saturday by Christine C. Ferguson, director of the agency, which runs the health insurance marketplace or exchange created under the federal health care overhaul. The numbers are being watched carefully to gauge both the functioning of the website and the popularity of the exchange.
Nationwide, health exchanges have been beset by technical difficulties, although state-run exchanges such as Rhode Island's had fewer problems.
HealthSource RI is not saying how many of the 1,698 who completed applications are small businesses (a key focus of the exchange) nor how many qualified for Medicaid. That information won't be available until November.
After this week, HealthSource RI plans to provide the previous week's numbers each Monday until November, when monthly reporting will start.
In addition to the website, HealthSource RI runs a contact center to help people select health insurance. From Oct. 1 through Oct. 5, the contact center received 39,061 calls and saw 233 people who walked in for in-person help. The contact center can be reached at 1-855-840-4774 or online.
(c)2013 The Providence Journal (Providence, R.I.)
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Original headline: n 1st 11 days, 1,698 Rhode Islanders completed Obamacare health insurance applications
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