Tue., November 12, 2013 5:02pm (EST)

Administration Invites HealthCare.gov Users To Try Again
By Scott Neuman
Updated: 5 months ago

A woman looks at the HealthCare.gov insurance exchange internet site October 1, 2013.
A woman looks at the HealthCare.gov insurance exchange internet site October 1, 2013.
If at first you don't succeed, try again.

That's the message from the White House on Tuesday, with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) asking more than 275,000 people who tried and failed to sign up for health plans on the stalled HealthCare.gov website to give it another shot.

As NPR's Julie Rovner the first of several waves of email invitations are going out to people who could not complete registration and therefore were unable to sign up for health insurance in the first weeks of the Affordable Care Act's enrollment period.

Rovner says: "Health officials apparently are satisfied enough with the website's operations that they are ready to welcome back those who failed to complete the enrollment process during the difficult early days and weeks."

"We want to make sure we are inviting individuals to come back into the system and that their experience will be a positive one," Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for CMS said.

Officials still say they are track to get the site working for the vast majority of users by the end of this month.

Bloomberg reports:

"High participation is critical to the success of the 2010 health law and its promise of making medical coverage an affordable possibility for at least 25 million uninsured people. While there was an early U.S. goal of about 800,000 sign-ups nationally for the first two months, officials have recently said they anticipate lower initial enrollment that will increase over time.

The Department of Health and Human Services is set to report data this week for the federal insurance marketplace serving 36 states and for the 14 state-run exchanges.

About 49,100 people have enrolled at 12 state sites, consultant Avalere Health said yesterday in a study based on news reports. About 40,000 to 50,000 more have signed up through the federal exchange, the Wall Street Journal reported. Website flaws and the slow start may hurt the overhaul's long-term prospects, said Avalere Chief Executive Officer Dan Mendelson."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.