By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–New enrollment numbers released by the federal government confirm there was a surge in people applying for health insurance at the end of December under the Affordable Care Act. Most of those who have enrolled so far are older Americans. In fact young adults ages 18 to 34 accounted for only a quarter of the enrollment. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan takes a look at some of the local numbers for us.
Officials hoped to sign up more than 3.3 million people by the end of December, instead the year ended with 2.2 million enrolled. A little more than half of that number signed up through the problematic Healthcare.gov website.
After a botched roll out and week after week of website glitches, December was a good month for people trying to obtain affordable healthcare insurance.
Fifty-four percent of those who’ve signed up so far are women. While nearly four out of five people who’ve enrolled have received financial help with their premiums through tax breaks.
Of those enrolled so far:
– 20% picked a low-cost bronze plan.
– 60% picked a silver plan. It was the most popular level of coverage and would pay for around 70 percent of expected medical costs.
– 13% picked gold, which most closely compares to the typical employer plan.
– 7% went for top-tier platinum plans
– Less than 1 percent picked “catastrophic” plans available only to certain groups of people, including those under 30.
Regionally, in Delaware 3,273 people purchased insurance while 4,640 people were eligible for expanded Medicaid and CHIP.
In New Jersey 34,751 bought insurance while a whopping 71,142 were eligible for state expanded Medicaid and CHIP.
In Pennsylvania 81,320 residents selected an insurance plan and 17,897 were eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, despite the fact that the state didn’t accept additional funding.
While the numbers show a surge in people enrolling in health insurance plans, we have yet to know how many have actually paid for coverage that they’ve chosen. Many insurance carriers extended the payment deadline but if a payment isn’t made by the deadline the coverage doesn’t go into effect.
Remember, if you don’t have some sort of health insurance coverage by March 31st, you could be hit with a fine.
To check out the national statistics related to enrollment visit: http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2014/MarketPlaceEnrollment/Jan2014/ib_2014jan_enrollment.pdf