Six Weeks Left to Enroll for Health Coverage

— by Katy Otto

This week, the federal government released new comprehensive statewide and national data on how many Americans have enrolled in new, more affordable health coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplaces.

The data shows that nearly 3.3 million people had chosen health plans through state-run exchanges as well as the federal exchange by February 1 — a 53% increase over the number enrolled a month earlier.

Many of these individuals are already receiving coverage as of January 1. Those who enroll by March 15 will receive their coverage starting April 1.

Open enrollment ends on March 31. Anyone who hasn’t enrolled by then, may have to wait until 2015 for health insurance and may be subject to a penalty.

During a Monday meeting in her Philadelphia office, the regional director of the Department of Health and Human Services, Joanne Grossi, told local organizations working on enrollment that the area had achieved the second-highest percentage in the federal marketplace, after Miami. This ranking was among cities in the 36 states that allowed the federal government to run their insurance exchange. Some larger cities, including New York and Los Angeles, are in states that created their own insurance marketplaces.

More than half of the enrollees (55 percent) are women and nearly 1 in 3 enrollees in January were younger than 35.

Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania’s CEO, Dayle Steinberg, said, “These numbers are not surprising, given the law’s protections and benefits for women.

“That’s why Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania is working to ensure that our patients and the communities we serve understand what they are eligible to receive.”

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