Enrollment climbs through health care exchanges

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Enrollment has surged in the health care exchange.

Enrollment in health care insurance plans through the exchange continues to grow at a rapid pace, according to statistics released this week from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In Wisconsin, as of the end of January, 56,436 people had signed up for plans through the marketplace — and that's without official support from state's Republican administration. In January, 15,684 people enrolled over the previous total enrollment of 40,752 as of Dec. 28, 2013, according to a news release from Wisconsin's Protect Your Care campaign.

HHS, meanwhile, said that 3.3 million people had signed up across the country for private health insurance plans through federal or state exchanges between Oct. 1, 2013, and Feb. 1. January accounted for nearly 1.1 million enrollments in private plans.

Young people are signing up in higher numbers, with youth adult enrollment increasing by 65 percent in January — outpacing all other age groups combined. Enrollments among young adults grew by 65 percent in January, while all other age groups combined grew by 55 percent when compared to the previous three-month reporting period.

In January, 27 percent of those who selected private plans through the marketplaces were ages 18-34. In Wisconsin, people ages 18-34 account for 20 percent of enrollees through the national marketplace.

Also, a new national poll shows the uninsured rate continues to drop — and has been declining faster for 26-34 year olds than any other age group. The Gallup survey found: "The percentage of uninsured Americans fell to 16 percent so far in the first quarter of 2014 from 17.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. …The percentage of uninsured 26- to 34-year-olds, which has been dropping since the third quarter of 2013, is now 25.7 percent. The uninsured rate among 26- to 34-year-olds has been declining faster than it has among any other age group. The uninsured rate among 18- to 25-year-olds declined slightly so far in 2014 to 23.3 percent."

Jason Rae, spokesperson for Protect Your Care, said in a news release issued early on Feb. 13, "With 47 days of open enrollment left, our top priority is reaching every individual in Wisconsin who needs access to quality, affordable insurance to help them sign up. We will continue to work with groups across Wisconsin to get the word out and put on enrollment events throughout the remaining open enrollment period."