More than 102,000 Missourians signed up in the first month of open enrollment for 2015 health insurance through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace.
Eighty-nine percent of them are getting tax credit subsidies to afford their premiums, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported Tuesday. The agency said half of the Missouri enrollees signed up for the first time.
This is the second year of coverage available under what’s commonly referred to as Obamacare, a health insurance program for individuals who don’t have access to job-related coverage or Medicare.
In Kansas, the first month of open enrollment brought 39,023 plan selections for 2015, with about eight in 10 eligible for financial assistance, the federal agency said. Fifty-three percent were first-time enrollees.
Nationally, after the first month of open enrollment for 2015 coverage, more than 4 million Americans have chosen new coverage or re-enrolled in Affordable Care Act plans. About 87 percent are eligible for some cost subsidy based on their household incomes.
Of the 4 million consumers, 3.4 million are in the 37 states using the federal HealthCare.gov marketplace. That includes Missouri and Kansas. About 600,000 enrollees are in 14 states using their own marketplace platforms.
Open enrollment for 2015 coverage runs until Feb. 15, but there was a Dec. 15 deadline to sign up for coverage beginning Jan. 1.
Sign-ups must be done by Jan. 15 for coverage effective Feb. 1. Enrollment by Feb. 15 will provide coverage effective March 1.
Existing consumers who want to change their existing plans have until Feb. 15 to make changes.
The first month of open enrollment this year attracted far more sign-ups than the first month of 2013, when the new website was inoperable for part of the time. Last year, the first month’s sign-up total was a mere 106,000.
The administration has set a 2015 enrollment goal of 9.1 million customers who follow through and pay for their premiums.
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said in a statement that the first month was “an encouraging start.”
Enrollment help is available by going to localhelp.healthcare.gov or by calling 800-318-2596.