Something to Hide?: Feds Ask Blue Cross Blue Shield Not to Release Exchange Numbers

The Obama administration asked North Dakota’s largest health insurer not to publicize how many people have signed up for health insurance through a new online exchange, a company official says.

During a Monday forum in Fargo for people interested in signing up for coverage via the exchange, James Nichol of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota told the crowd his company received the request from the federal government earlier Monday. Nichol is a consumer sales manager for the company.

Still, a spokeswoman from Blue Cross Blue Shield says about 14 North Dakotans have signed up for coverage since the federal exchange went live Oct. 1. That brings total statewide enrollment to 20 – less than one a day.

Spokeswoman Andrea Dinneen said Tuesday that while Blue Cross generally does not release its internal sales numbers, it has in this case because the problematic rollout of the federal health care exchange is a “unique situation.”

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