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Health

ACA Enrollment Dips In Kansas And Missouri

The number of Kansans maintaining health coverage through healthcare.gov, the federal online marketplace, has declined since spring.

As of the end of June, 84,872 Kansans were enrolled in Affordable Care Act policies, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That’s down 0.7 percent from the nearly 85,490 enrolled at the end of March but higher than the 57,000 enrolled in the spring of 2014.

In Missouri, enrollment decreased to 212,256 in June from 219,953 in March, a decline of 3.5 percent.

Nationally, 9.9 million Americans were enrolled in marketplace plans at the end of June, compared to 10.2 million at the end of March.

Federal officials said in an HHS news release that the lower numbers were “consistent” with their end-of-year enrollment target of 9.1 million.

Officials said fluctuations in enrollment were to be expected as consumers find other coverage or experience changes in “life circumstances” that cause them to change or cancel plans.

The percentage of Kansans receiving tax credits to help pay for their coverage declined from 81.9 percent to 79.8 percent. The percentage of Missouri consumers receiving tax credits declined from 89.9 percent to 88.7 percent but remained above the national average of 84 percent.

Higher premium costs in the marketplace could affect enrollment going forward.

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer recently announced that he had approved rate increases ranging from 9.4 percent to 25.4 percent for policies offered during the upcoming open enrollment period, which is scheduled to run from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31, 2016.

Jim McLean is executive editor of KHI News Service in Topeka, a partner in the Heartland Health Monitor team.

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