Analysis: Less than 1 percent of visitors to ObamaCare exchange enrolled

Less than one percent of people who visited healthcare.gov in its first week actually enrolled for coverage under ObamaCare, according to a new analysis.

The consulting firm Kantar US Insights estimated that only about 36,000 people completed the enrollment process by Oct. 5, out of about 9.5 million unique visitors to the glitchy ObamaCare portal.

The analysis also found that traffic to healthcare.gov plummeted 88 percent between Oct. 1 and Oct. 13 as users encountered problems with the system. 

ADVERTISEMENT
The figures, if accurate, shed light on the site's rocky rollout and point to the daunting task facing federal health officials over the next six months as they try to convince millions to buy health plans. 

Kantar, using data from nonpartisan research firm Millward Brown Digital, estimated that about 9.4 million visited the site during its first week.

Of that number, roughly one-third tried to register and one-third of that group — 1.01 million — completed the registration process.

Even fewer people were able to successfully log in (271,000) and enter the enrollment stage (196,000).

The Obama administration has not released enrollment figures of its own, but says healthcare.gov received 14.6 million unique visitors in its first 11 days.

In a blog post Wednesday, Millward Brown Digital Managing Director Matt Pace wrote it's "no surprise" that federal officials have been tight-lipped about the numbers.

"Healthcare.gov was clearly unprepared to handle the huge spike in traffic on Oct. 1, the start of open enrollment, which the site was visited by 0.9% (or one in 114) of everyone online in the United States," Pace wrote.

He added that while the site's performance in its first week was "atrocious," traffic figures indicate a demand for ObamaCare's new coverage options.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) initially attributed the site's unrelenting technical issues to floods of users.

But HHS later acknowledged that there were system errors at play as well. Since then, officials have temporarily taken down parts of the site for repairs.