Enrollment in healthcare plans under the Affordable Care Act is picking up steam, particularly in Michigan.
Nationwide, more than 4 million people have enrolled in healthcare coverage through a state-operated exchange or the federal Marketplace through Feb. 26. And in Michigan, more than 112,000 individuals have enrolled in a plan through Feb. 1, placing Michigan 12% above its federally set target for the period and one of only a handful of states to exceed its enrollment target.
As of Feb.1, more than 255,000 Michiganians had completed an application and been determined eligible to enroll in a Marketplace health plan. With an estimated 500,000 to 600,000 Michiganians eligible to purchase coverage on the Marketplace, this is an impressive start.
Not only is Healthcare.gov working, individuals and families are finding plans that meet their needs, and their budgets — and they are enrolling. This is great news for those who have gained comprehensive, affordable healthcare coverage.
- 56% are female
- 55% are between 45 and 64 years of age
- 26% are ages 19-34
- 73% opted for a Silver Tier plan(this is the plan on which the premium tax credits are based and not the least expensive plan)
- 86% are eligible for premium tax credits and/or cost-sharing subsidies (that reduce out-of-pocket costs)
Those who have not yet enrolled in a plan still have time to review their options and enroll. The deadline for this open enrollment period is March 31. Those who have not yet checked out Healthcare.gov still have time to shop, make a selection and enroll. Assistance, through Healthcare.gov or Enroll Michigan, is available for help with applications, plan selection, and enrollment.
Premium assistance calculators are also available to provide an estimate of the amount of premium tax credits that could be available for an individual or family. Kaiser Family Foundation and Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services each has a calculator available.
These calculators are great resources for those who may believe there are no affordable options in the Marketplace for them.
Another upcoming opportunity to obtain healthcare coverage is enrollment in the Healthy Michigan Plan, Michigan’s Medicaid expansion. This program will provide comprehensive benefits to those with incomes below 133% of the federal poverty level (up to $15,521 for an individual or $31,721 for a family of four). While the program will begin on April 1, the date when open enroll will begin is not expected to be announced until mid-March.
In the meantime, individuals enrolled in the Adult Benefits Waiver (also known as the Adult Medical Program) are being transitioned to the Healthy Michigan Plan and have the opportunity to select a managed care plan prior to the April 1 implementation date.
Slowly but surely, the Affordable Care Act is making affordable, quality healthcare coverage available, making the promise a reality and making healthcare coverage a right not a privilege.
– Jan Hudson