Weather Updates

Hundreds enroll in Illinois health insurance exchange: officials

Updated: November 9, 2013 1:00PM

Only hundreds of applicants enrolled in the online Illinois health insurance exchange, a top state official said Friday — giving the first glimpse of how the new federal health care program is doing in this state.

“If I had to guess the total enrollment for October, I would estimate it to be in the triple digits,” said Jennifer Koehler, director of the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace.

It is only an estimate, because the federal government, which runs the where Illinois can apply to buy insurance, has not released those figures.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has said, though, that nationally, six people enrolled the first day the website went live on Oct. 1.

Glitches on the federal have been a problem since the start. The government has said that they will fix the site by the end of this month.

State officials said they never expected large enrollment numbers in the first few weeks and that they are confident continued education efforts will lead to healthy enrollment.

Koehler added that Illinois website,, has enabled more than 44,000 Illinois people to apply for Medicaid.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.