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ACA Insurance Enrollment Nearly Doubles In Missouri And Kansas

The number of Missourians and Kansans signing up for private health insurance in the federal marketplace has surpassed last year’s numbers, and enrollment continues at a steady clip.

Figures released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) show that nearly 76,000 Kansans and nearly 198,000 Missourians chose a health plan or re-enrolled on HealthCare.gov between the start of open enrollment on Nov. 15 and Jan. 9.

Enrollment in both states has surged about 94 percent in the last month.

During the entire enrollment period for 2014, when the rollout of the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplace was plagued by technical glitches, about 57,000 Kansans signed up for health coverage. In Missouri, just over 152,000 signed up.

Those who sign up by today will get coverage starting Feb. 1. The deadline to obtain coverage this year is Feb. 15.

The Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate requires most Americans to obtain health coverage. Those who fail to do so must pay a penalty – 2 percent of annual household income or $325 per person and $162.50 per child under the age of 18.

With a month to go, nearly 6.8 million people in the 37 states that have opted not to operate their own online marketplaces or exchanges have signed up for private health insurance, according to HHS.  Missouri and Kansas are among the 37.

Alex Smith is a reporter for KCUR, a partner in the Heartland Health Monitor team.

As a health care reporter, I aim to empower my audience to take steps to improve health care and make informed decisions as consumers and voters. I tell human stories augmented with research and data to explain how our health care system works and sometimes fails us. Email me at alexs@kcur.org.
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