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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

State Snapshots Of Obamacare Enrollment

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Alaska – In another sparsely populated state, Annie Feidt of Alaska Public Radio Network reported on December and January efforts. About 3,000 people selected marketplace plans before Dec. 28 and 83 percent qualified for a subsidy to help pay for premiums. “But Enroll Alaska has seen a steep drop off in the number of people signing up for insurance in the New Year,” Feidt said. “In the last few weeks of 2013, (Enroll Alaska) was signing up as many as 70 Alaskans a day for insurance. As soon as January 1st hit, that figure plunged by more than half.”

Oregon – Alaska, Delaware, and Texas all rely on healthcare.gov, the federal website that was extremely balky for the first two months of its operation. Oregon’s dysfunctional website was homegrown — and it still isn’t fully functional. Despite this, Kristian Foden-Vencil of Oregon Public Broadcasting, reports that the state is in the middle of the pack: “By late December, Oregon had enrolled about 18,000 people via the website, with the help of state navigators. That’s more than 23 other states for the same time period.”

Colorado – Another state running its own exchange is Colorado, which has signed up 59,000 people for private insurance and another 81,000 for expanded Medicaid, Eric Whitney reports for Colorado Public Radio. Whitney says that Connect for Health Colorado is going to shift its advertising in the coming months. “Since opening October 1, the group’s marketing messages have focused on the benefits of health insurance,” Whitney says. “Now, the messages will start reminding people they face a tax penalty if they don’t have health coverage this year.”

Minnesota – Like Oregon, Minnesota has a state-run exchange that has weathered many problems, culminating in a change of leadership. Minnesota Public Radio’s Elizabeth Stawicki reports that lawmakers are trying to ferret out what went wrong in hearings. “Meanwhile, about 72,000 Minnesotans have signed up for coverage as of the end of the year,” Stawicki says. “Of those, about two-thirds are receiving government coverage such as Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare. About 26,000 have signed up for commercial insurance. Of those, the median age has dropped a couple years to age 48.”

Thu, Jan 16 2014

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