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Report: 57,000 Kansans signed up for health insurance on government website

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, May 1, 2014, at 2:04 p.m.

More than 57,000 Kansans signed up for health coverage on the new marketplace at HealthCare.gov, which was set up through the Affordable Care Act, according to newly released federal data.

The numbers include data from a special enrollment period that was extended from the end of March to April 19 for those who had started but not yet completed the enrollment process.

Nationwide, more than 8 million Americans signed up for coverage, but the federal government has not released data on how many of those followed through and paid premiums.

In Kansas, 79 percent of enrollees received some sort of federal financial assistance with premiums. Fifty-five percent of the enrollees in Kansas are women.

Thirty-one percent of enrollees in Kansas are between the ages of 18 and 34, which is a higher percentage than in most states.

The data also show that enrollment in Medicaid among Kansans increased by 22,498 during the open enrollment.

Many authorities say the financial success of the Affordable Care Act will hinge on how many younger Americans sign up for health plans. Because they are relatively healthy and have fewer medical expenses, young adults’ premiums will help offset the higher health care costs of older Americans.

Nationwide, 28 percent of those who signed up on the marketplace through the special enrollment period were between 18 and 34 years old.

The next open enrollment period for marketplace plans will begin in November.

“More than 57,013 Kansans signed up through the Marketplace, demonstrating brisk demand for quality, affordable coverage,” said Kathleen Sebelius, former Kansas governor and Health and Human Services secretary, in a statement. “Together we are ensuring that health coverage is more accessible than ever before, which is important for families, for businesses and for Kansas’s health and wellbeing.”

Sebelius recently announced plans to step down as HHS secretary. President Obama has nominated Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell to take her place. Burwell must first be confirmed by the Senate.

To view the Kansas report, go to http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2014/MarketPlaceEnrollment/Apr2014/pdf/ks.pdf.

Reach Kelsey Ryan at 316-269-6752 or kryan@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @kelsey_ryan.

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