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Government and Politics

Affordable Care Act enrollment in Ohio is below expectations
Only a fraction of eligible Ohioans have signed up for a plan and the deadline to enroll is quickly approaching

Amy Rohling McGee, president of the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, says there needs to be more education to help potential enrollees understand what’s available.
Courtesy of Health Policy Institute of Ohio
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Obama administration officials announced late Tuesday that a total of 4.2 million people nationwide have signed up for Affordable Care Act health plans since open enrollment began in October. For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN’s Sarah Jane Tribble drills down into the Ohio numbers.
LISTEN: Only about 10 percent of those who are eligible have enrolled in the plan

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Nearly 80,000 Ohio residents have selected a health insurance plan on the federally run exchanges.

The data, released late Tuesday, reveals that most of those signing up were older and female. And 85 percent received some sort of financial assistance, such as a subsidy or tax credit.

Amy Rohling McGee, president of the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, says she has one major concern with the enrollment number: It’s only a fraction of who should be signing up.

“There are about 812,000 Ohioans who are eligible to purchase coverage in the market place, so we’re now at about 10 percent of those who are eligible actually having gone through and enrolled in the plan.”

McGee says any new program needs time to ramp up and she points to a need for more education to help potential enrollees understand what’s available.

There’s one other number in the report that has raised concerns among insurers: About 21 percent of those selecting a plan in Ohio are 18 to 34 years old as compared with 25 percent nationwide.

Insurers have said a higher percentage of younger and healthier adults are needed to balance out the risk of providing coverage for older enrollees.

The deadline to enroll is March 31.
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