ST. GEORGE — Nearly 50,000 Utahns signed up for health coverage during the first month of the three-month open enrollment period through the federal health care marketplace, and about half of those were signing up for the first time.
A report released by the Department of Health and Human Services Tuesday shows that 49,740 Utahns chose health care plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace before the December 15 deadline for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2015. The marketplace was created by the Affordable Care Act.
About 89 percent of Utah residents who selected health insurance plans in the first month of open enrollment were also eligible for financial assistance to lower their monthly premiums. This compares to 82 percent over a similar period in 2013. Of the 49,740 Utah residents who selected a plan, 50 percent re-enrolled in a marketplace plan for 2015, and 50 percent signed up for the first time.
The report provides the first detailed analysis of enrollment in the marketplace for the first month of the 2015 open enrollment period. However, because the automatic re-enrollment process for the 37 states using the healthcare website platform — including Utah — began on Dec. 16 and was completed for most consumers on Dec. 18, Tuesday’s report with data through Dec. 15 doesn’t fully reflect the number of people who selected plans leading up to the deadline for Jan. 1, 2015 coverage.
“We’re pleased that in Utah 49,740 people signed up for marketplace coverage during the first month of open enrollment. The vast majority were able to lower their costs even further by getting tax credits, making a difference in the bottom lines of so many families,” HHS Secretary, Sylvia M. Burwell, said. “Interest in the marketplace has been strong during the first month of open enrollment. We still have a ways to go and a lot of work to do before February 15, but this is an encouraging start.”
Nationwide, more than 4 million people signed up for the first time or re-enrolled in coverage for 2015 during the first month of open enrollment. That includes more than 3.4 million people who selected a plan in the 37 states that are using the healthcare website platform for 2015 and more than 600,000 consumers who selected plans in the 14 states that are operating their own marketplace platform for 2015.
HHS also released a Weekly Enrollment Snapshot that captures more recent enrollment activity in the marketplace. The Weekly Snapshot shows that from Nov. 15-Dec. 26, nearly 6.5 million consumers selected a plan or were automatically re-enrolled.
Open enrollment in the marketplace runs from Nov. 15, 2014, through Feb. 15, 2015. Consumers should visit HealthCare.gov to review and compare health plan options. Consumers shopping for health insurance coverage should sign up by Jan. 15, 2015, to have coverage effective on Feb. 1, 2015. If consumers who were automatically re-enrolled find a plan that better suits their families, they can make that change at any time before the end of open enrollment on Feb. 15.
Consumers can find local help on the website, or call the Federally-facilitated Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855- 889-4325. Translation services are available and the call is free.
The information contained in Tuesday’s report offers the most systematic summary of enrollment in the marketplace to date.
- HealthCare.gov | Review and compare health plan options
- Healthcare Help | Telephone: 1-800-318-2596 | TTY: 1-855-889-4325
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