223,000 Ohioans sign up for health care


Since Open Enrollment began on Nov. 1, 225,173 Ohio residents (about 8.8 million nationally) have signed-up for health coverage through the HealthCare.gov platform or had their coverage automatically renewed. The latest enrollment snapshot includes the number of people who selected a plan or were automatically reenrolled within local media markets. This localized data provides another level of detail to better understand total plan selections within local communities.

“As expected, consumer interest is beginning to increase again as we near the deadline for 2016 coverage,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said. “We know we have more work to do and as we count down to the January 31 final deadline, we’re focused on making sure consumers understand that they must act soon to find affordable health coverage and avoid the fee for choosing to not have health insurance in 2016. Consumers should know that we’re here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

As of January 16 – 45,635 consumers in the Cincinnati local media market area selected or were automatically enrolled in a plan.

Open Enrollment for 2016 coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace began Nov. 1, 2015, and runs through January 31, 2016. Consumers who enroll by January 31 will have coverage effective March 1. Having health insurance when you can afford it is now the law. If someone chooses not to buy health insurance and could afford to do so, they are at risk of paying a fee of $695 or more. Consumers are encouraged to visit HealthCare.gov to review and compare health plan options and find out if they are eligible for financial assistance, which can help lower monthly premiums and reduce out-of-pocket costs.

Burwell reminded consumers financial help is available. In the first month of Open Enrollment, 80 percent of Ohio consumers who selected health insurance plans were determined eligible for financial assistance to lower their monthly premiums.

She said there’s still time to make changes. If you had coverage in 2015 and learned that your plan was automatically renewed for 2016, you still have time to shop plans and make changes. If you find a better plan for your family is available, you can change plans at any time before the end of Open Enrollment on January 31, 2016.

Information is available at HealthCare.gov or CuidadoDeSalud.gov., by phone: Call center representatives are available to help all day, every day at 1-800-318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325. Assistance is available in 150 languages. The call is free. In person: consumers can find local help at by visiting: Localhelp.healthcare.gov

By Frank Lewis

[email protected]

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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