Health Team

Health coverage enrollments surge in January

Posted February 12, 2014
Updated February 14, 2014

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— More than 52,000 people in North Carolina signed up for health coverage through the online marketplace in January, a 49 percent jump from the end of last year, according to federal figures released Wednesday.

North Carolina's 160,161 enrollees place the state fifth nationally for the number of people seeking health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said. California continues to lead the way, followed by Florida, New York and Texas.

California and New York operate their own online exchanges, while North Carolina, Florida and Texas offer health plans through the federal site.

Nationwide, almost 3.3 million people have enrolled in coverage so far, a 53 percent jump from the 2.1 million who had signed up for coverage through the end of December.

A quarter of enrollees nationwide are in the coveted 18-34 age group, up slightly from earlier figures. The government wants to sign up as many young, healthy people as possible to help subsidize the medical costs racked up by older enrollees.

“These encouraging trends show that more Americans are enrolling every day, and finding quality, affordable coverage in the marketplace,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.

The Obama administration hopes to have 7 million people signed up by March 31. After that date, people without health coverage face a tax penalty.

The report didn't note, however, how many people have paid their January premiums, which is necessary to guarantee coverage, or how many of the enrollees previously lacked health insurance.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, the only firm offering health plans statewide through the exchange, said it has notified about 6,400 customers who haven't paid their first month's premium that they technically aren't enrolled until they do so, spokesman Lew Borman said. The company previously sent invoices and emails to the people reminding them that their premiums were due, he said.

Borman said all of the people who have failed to pay their premiums can go back on the exchange and enroll for coverage to start at a later date. The deadline for enrolling for March 1 coverage is Saturday.

In North Carolina, 25 percent of enrollees are ages 18 to 34, 58 percent are women, 90 percent will qualify for federal subsidies on their premiums and 72 percent selected middle-of-the-road Silver plans for coverage, according to federal figures.


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Feb 13, 2014

    @NCPRR1, You do realize that…

    …you and I already pay for healthcare for everyone?

    ...half of all bankruptcies in our country are due to healthcare costs?

    ...paying for preventive care is much cheaper than Emergency Room care?

    ...that ACA works to get people take responsibility for themselves so they're not a burden? (which is a Republican platform value, actually)


  • rroadrunner99 Feb 13, 2014

    People on Medicare or Medicaid can't sign up and purchase health insurance through the ACA program. A lot of the comments on here prove that a lot of people know nothing about it. I wish that the Federal Government would step in and take over Medicaide make it a Federally ran program so that the Governors of each state cannot hold the poor people as hostages by not expanding it when they are the one's who need it.

  • CarolinaTim Feb 13, 2014

    90% of those enrolled in NC will get subsidies. Sebelius said,“These encouraging trends show that more Americans are enrolling every day, and finding quality, affordable coverage in the marketplace." Of course it's affordable if it's free or partially paid for by others. Our current administration defines success as being dependent on the government. The more the better. All they see is loyal voters for their party. Economically unsustainable for our country and the providers.

  • bill0 Feb 13, 2014

    "Any "surge" is just Medicare re-enrollments and people who realize that I will be paying for their health insurance."

    Good Lord. I'm not sure how people end up this uneducated about our laws.

    This has NOTHING to do with Medicare re-enrollments. This is ONLY insurance policies purchased through the healthcare exchanges. If you are on medicare or medicaid, then you do not enroll in private insurance and you are not eligible for subsidies on those exchanges.

  • Phil Larson Feb 13, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    It's not like he lied about WMDs and got 4,800 of our young servicemen killed and 31,000 maimed.

  • cbuckyoung Feb 13, 2014

    Absolutely, the worst governmental fraud since Teapot Dome.
    Any "surge" is just Medicare re-enrollments and people who realize that I will be paying for their health insurance. Don't force your radical religion on me. Stay out of my life.

  • bill0 Feb 13, 2014

    "Gotta ask the question--out of this monumental number of people enrolled in Obamacare, how many enrolled in Medicare/Medicade???"

    If you have to ask that question, you obviously know nothing about obamacare. The exchanges are completely separate from medicare/medicaid. Not a single person from that group is counted in the signup numbers.

  • lessismore Feb 13, 2014

    5 months into a 6 month sign-up deadline and less than half of what is needed to make Obama Care float. It will fail. It must be amended by congress....not the President. Obama only makes it worse every time he changes it.

  • Get your IDs Feb 13, 2014

    View quoted thread

    and apologies to all those that lost their plan after being promised they could keep it. All it did was cover those who didnt have it and screw those that did. Thats equality?

  • Get your IDs Feb 13, 2014

    View quoted thread

    never underestimate the power of learned helplessness