More than 78K Ohioans sign up for health plans under Obamacare

Nationwide, 4.2 million Americans had signed up for private health plans, and 4.4 million were determined eligible for Medicaid through the end of February.
TNS Regional News
Mar 12, 2014

 

As the deadline looms for health care marketplace enrollment, more than 176,000 Ohioans have signed up for private health plans or been deemed eligible for Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, according to figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Total enrollment in private plans total 78,925 through the end of February, while 97,477 Ohioans were deemed eligible for Medicaid. That was up about 27 percent from the previous totals for private plans and Medicaid through the end of January.

Enrollment in private health plans alone climbed at an even faster rate — up 31 percent from just over 60,000 enrollees through the end of January.

Nationwide, 4.2 million Americans had signed up for private health plans, and 4.4 million were determined eligible for Medicaid through the end of February.

Private enrollment through February was up about 29 percent from the previous four months. The total was still about 1.8 million shy of the Congressional Budget Office’s revised forecast of 6 million enrollees by the March 31 — final deadline for enrollment.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said during a conference call with reporters that she expected a surge of new enrollees over the next several weeks to close the gap.

“Given what we know about past enrollment patterns for health care, we expect that even more will sign up as we approach the March 31 deadline,” according to Sebelius, who said she was especially encouraged by the increased participation by young adults who will be critical to making the economics of the health care marketplaces work.

So far, young adults have accounted for about 25 percent of total enrollment in private marketplace plans nationwide, less than the 40 percent enrollment by young adults that the Kaiser Family Foundation and others have estimated will be needed for the marketplaces to work properly.

But Sebelius noted that enrollment by young adults picked up in January and continued to accelerate last month when more than a third of enrollees were under age 35.

“Young adults tend to sign up later in the process…and there’s still time for others to sign up,” she said.

Meanwhile, local volunteers and others working to enroll the uninsured have stepped up their efforts, including Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, who kicked off a citywide health-care enrollment initiative Tuesday at East End Community Services.

“We need to make sure our citizens get what’s coming to them,” said Whaley, who was joined at the podium by Kathleen Falk, regional director for HHS, who implored community leaders and residents to reach out to the uninsured.

“There are 20 days left to get enrolled,” Falk said. “Let’s not let one of those next 20 days go without reaching out to someone.”

Overall, there are about 1.5 million uninsured Ohioans, or about 15 percent of the state’s population.

In Montgomery County alone, about 19 percent of the non-elderly adult population is currently uninsured, and about 42,000 residents are eligible to sign up for private health plans through the marketplace or receive Medicaid coverage, according to Jeff Cooper, assistant to the health commissioner for Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County.

“We fully recognize the importance of access to health care,” Cooper said. “And we would encourage our uninsured residents to get coverage through the health insurance marketplace.”

Sebelius credited the Affordable Care Act with already reducing the number of uninsured, citing a Gallup survey released Monday that showed the percentage of non-elderly Americans without health insurance fell to 15.9 by the end of February — the lowest rate since 2008 and down from 17 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.

“This wasn’t a coincidence or something that just happened on it’s own,” said Sebelius, referring to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. “What we’re finding is that as more Americans learn just how affordable marketplace insurance can be, more are signing up to get covered.”

New enrollees include Dayton resident Mary Woeste, 59, who completed the marketplace application process Monday at East End. Woeste is now waiting for a determination on her eligibility for Medicaid or private insurance.

Either way, Woeste said she’s just happy to have the opportunity to get affordable health coverage for the first time in many years.

“It just makes you feel better about doing things and being active in the community without having to worry about an accident or injury that might set you back financially,” Woeste said. “I’m trying to get a job with a non-profit, and most of them don’t offer a lot of benefits like health insurance. This way, I don’t have to worry about that. I can choose the job I want regardless of the benefits package.”

———

By Randy Tucker - Dayton Daily News, Ohio (MCT)

©2014 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)

Visit the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio) at www.daytondailynews.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Comments

Contango

"Obama to Latino Town Hall: Cut Cable, Cell Phone to Afford ACA Plan":

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/chr...

Obviously according to Pres. Obama, the guy is too stupid to know what's good for him.

It's the LAW - sign up stupid citizen.

Cut off your cell phone, turn off your TV and buy the Obama☭are brand snake oil.

In my opinon

Sound very cranky and bitter to me. It is starting to work and people are signing up.

Contango

Re: "Sound very cranky and bitter to me."

I agree. Pres. Obama did sound "very cranky and bitter" in that video.

rbenn

people are signing up lol, yeah those that HAD insurance, people that didn't aren't buying the trainwreck, wasn't that what this law was about? Getting coverage for those that didn't have it? Epic fail, on the backs of the working man once again.

methodman

Having money for 600 channels of nothing. 75.00/month. Smart phone with unlimited talk, text, and data. 75.00/month. Car you really can't afford. 350/month. Eating out for dinner once a week. 120/ month. Having no medical insurance and very little ability to pay for your treatment. PRICELESS.

Contango

Re: "Smart phone,"

Yea, but to use Pres. Obama's analogy:

What if he has an emergency and wishes that he had that smart phone to call for help?

Or,

What if there's a weather emergency and he wishes that he had that TV to warn him?

Not to worry, the Dems are working on providing free single payer healthcare for everyone.

They help people. :)

methodman

I wouldn't say its just the "Dems". Kasich approved medicaid expansion. Goal is to add 275000 low income to medicaid.

Contango

Re: "Medicaid,"

"Free" is good, right? :)

Now they just need to find enough healthcare pros that'll accept the low level of reimbursement payments.

methodman

You know as well as I do that there's gonna be people filling that void. Some money is better than no money when you gotta pay for college loans. A whole new wave of prescription pill users. Pharmacies love this. Wonder who owns all the pharmacies? Oh... wait its the same group of people who own the majority of the television networks.

Contango

Re: "there's gonna be people filling that void,"

"Doctors" working for min. wage? Yea, sign me up ASAP.

Or, "Doc in the box", e.g. medical services at WalMart, Walgreens, CVS, et. al.

---------------

Re: "who owns,?"

Stockholders.

methodman

You got it "doc in the box". Come on now contago. Who owns the majority of pharmaceutical co.s? Media, printed press, movie production. Stockholders? Please. They'll wipe that out just like they did everyone's 401k plans.

Contango

Re: "Who owns,?."

Yep! Stockholders.

Why; who do you think owns them?

"wipe out"?

Strange, my investments survived and lived to thrive.

arnmcrmn

methodman. I hate to bust your bubble but this isn't the case. Many Dr.'s are leaving large hospitals for private practices where they can dictate who comes in and out of their doors more. Medicaid reimbursements in fact are so low that Dr.'s have to squeeze every single dollar out of every trip (an example would be running every single procedure possible through the medical card) so they can at least try and break even.

Hospitals make their money on cash pay (rare) and private insurance patients (where they make the most money).

If a Dr tried to work and make a living solely on the medical card you would for certain see two things. Substandard care and a broke Dr.

I work in the dental field and we choose to not deal with the medical card as well as nearly all of my other colleagues do too. Reimbursements are a complete joke, take forever to receive and triple booking your day only to have a handful of patients show up just isn't what I signed up for.

Throw in the changes that the Obama administration has made to Medicaid and you have what you have currently. A mess that Dr.'s are running away from and running away fast.

methodman

Didn't say it was gonna be primo care. Its gonna be quack medicine but they will be there. The McDonalds of health care. What should people expect for free? I dont really understand a doc leaving a large hospital for a private practice. They werent getting paid working at the hospital? Docs must love mandated health insurance. Pick and choose who they see depending on insurance providers. Maybe hospitals should do the same. No insurance no care. Medicaid? No care. Hospitals are the only place where u can go in and get service and leave without paying your bill or provide some type of reimbursement method.

arnmcrmn

You have to understand why I said what I said. There are plenty of family physicians who do minor to moderate surgeries that require a hospital to perform. The hospital makes some money and the Dr makes some money, well use to. Its called having hospital privileges as a Dr. What once was a profitable business for Dr's is now causing them to look elsewhere or accept the next to nothing returns or go broke. Reimbursements have been cut drastically under Obama and by the time the administering hospital takes their cut of any procedure, Dr.s just aren't making nearly what they use to. For anyone that thinks Dr.s across this nation have not taken a pay cut, please, they have, trust me.

What is still required is the standard of care no matter what a Dr makes.

A Dr. doing a surgery use to make decent return via medicaid reimbursement however with increased overhead, malpractice insurance and a decline in reimbursements, Dr.s are just hanging up the towel nationwide.

Hospitals cannot turn down anyone for service regardless if they can pay or not. That is why many Dr.'s are going private or back to private, because they can do just that, self regulate their practice much better. Not totally, but much better.

Even Dr.'s in a totally private practice are not immune. Most still accept medicaid and with the declining reimbursements, its putting a major strain on offices. They are cutting positions within the office that is having an overall negative effect across this nation.

With the current philosophies on Capital Hill, and the disaster known as Obamacare, everyone better plan on longer lines in the ER and Dr.s offices and longer time to get that necessary/need it now treatment within the next 10 years or even sooner.

With the shortages of Dr.'s across this nation and the lack on enrollment in college institutions, its going to get worse.

Ive had several seasoned local Dr.s tell me if they could have done it all over again, they would have went to dental school. As of now we are not so heavily regulated by the government and our hands are not tied behind our backs while the government steals money from our pockets, like so many Dr.s are.

Many of the Dr.s I know are great, caring people but trust me standardized healthcare/universal healthcare will have a huge negative effect on everyone. We are just now at the end of the diving board looking down, not knowing there is only 6 inches of water. Its going to hurt this nation immensely.

Contango

"Doctor Shortage Looms as Obamacare Creates Medicaid Crisis"

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront...

mikeylikesit

makes me wonder if all those dead voters have to buy obozo's mess too..

Windy

I wonder if those who voted twice get two of his health care plans for free.

jamie9700

January 2017 can't get here soon enough.

KURTje

Yeah windy. You want free $$ for Huron County Airport though.

Dr. Information

Obamacare isn't working, it's a huge mess and here come the delays. Failure, total meltdown.

Cliff Cannon

My question regarding 'obamacare' is simply this : " Why " ?

Who doesn't know anywhere in America of the ineptness of the federal government when they attempt to do large scale ' things' ?

Further, who doesn't know that when the federal government becomes involved in dang near anything. That the amount they pay, the amount they spend and the amount they charge citizens skyrocket's north at a rapid pace ?


Lastly, who doesn't know the federal government is ----trillions in debt ? ( With that number growing like weeds in your garden ? )Then toss this in; The Fed's are cutting our defense budget like crazy to pay for garbage like this, when we need to protect ourselves like never before. Is that crazy or what ?

So the question : " Why " ? ( Regarding this amazingly complex, bull dung of a law. That is filled to rim with hidden costs, hidden clauses on what will or won't be covered. That confuses, even the idiots who wrote the law. That is now, the law of the land.) Is the question to ask.

As in this question : " Why " would anyone who cares about our country, who want's what is best for our country or cares about what tomorrow brings. Ever propose or vote for this incredible plague on our country ?