The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says 243,715 Ohioans enrolled in health coverage through the Affordable Care Act during the third open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act, which ended on Jan. 31, 2016.
“Today’s announcement from HHS shows what we’ve been seeing in communities across Ohio – consumers are hungry for affordable health coverage and jumped at the opportunity to protect themselves and their family,” Trey Daly, Ohio State Director for Enroll America, said. “And of the nearly 244,000 that enrolled or reenrolled in coverage, we know the vast majority of them received financial help to lower the monthly premiums and make their plan truly affordable. Despite these encouraging statistics, we know that there is more work to be done across the Buckeye State to continue educating Ohioans about their coverage options.”
During the third open enrollment period, Enroll America and its partners in Ohio worked together to offer in-person enrollment assistance and expand access to tools available for consumers. During the third open enrollment period alone, Enroll America and its partners offered consumers nearly 86,000 free appointments through the digital Get Covered Connector to meet with enrollment assisters across Ohio that could sit down with them, answer their questions, and help them through the enrollment process.
“Open Enrollment for 2016 is over and we are happy to report it was a success,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said. “The Health Insurance Marketplace is changing people’s lives for the better. Across the country, about 12.7 million Americans selected affordable, quality health plans for 2016 coverage, exceeding our goals. That includes over 4 million new consumers in the HealthCare.gov states who signed-up for coverage this year. The Marketplace is growing and getting stronger and the ACA has become a crucial part of healthcare in America.”
With the open enrollment period now closed, Enroll America and its partners say they will be continuing to offer opportunities for consumers to enroll in coverage through Medicaid or through Special Enrollment Periods.
Uninsured Ohioans who did not take action before the January 31 enrollment deadline will likely face a fine of at least $695, on top of having to pay out-of-pocket for treatment during 2016.
Though the marketplace enrollment period has ended, uninsured Ohioans who experience a qualifying life event such as having a child, losing job-based coverage, or getting married may be able to enroll in coverage before the next open enrollment period begins. Enrollment in Medicaid is also year round, so qualifying Ohioans can enroll in Medicaid today.
If any Ohioan has questions about their coverage or wants to learn more about their current enrollment options, they can schedule a free appointment with an enrollment expert in their community by using the Get Covered Connector.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.