It was bad news.
Just under 27,000 people enrolled in insurance via the federal health exchange through November 2, the Department of Health and Human Services announced today. Combined with 79,391 enrollees from states running their own exchanges, 106,185 total people have enrolled in exchange plans.HHS defines enrollees as people who have submitted their information for and picked a health-care plan for which they’re eligible; they don’t have to have committed to buy the plan or paid the first premium (the point at which health-insurance companies typically define someone as enrolled).When asked by a reporter on a conference call today whether HHS has numbers on the number of paid customers, Sebelius demurred, saying that the numbers provided were the “best” possible, and arguing that customers may not plan to make their payments until they have to, in December. At that point, she said, data on the number of purchased plans will be available. Overall, 1.08 million people have been deemed eligible to buy plans through the state exchanges or the federal marketplace, and about 10 percent of them have picked a plan.