More than 243K Ohioans enrolled in insurance marketplace

More than 243,000 Ohioans either re-enrolled or signed up for private health coverage this year under the Affordable Care Act — about a 4 percent increase from last year’s enrollment total, according to figures released Friday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Ohio’s total enrollment of 243,715 included 23,774 Dayton-area residents and ranked the Buckeye State No. 12 among the 38 states that use the federal website, HealthCare.gov, for enrollment in commercial health plans sold through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

The remaining states and the District of Columbia use their own state-based marketplaces for enrollment.

“We have seen gradual increases in the number of people purchasing private coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace,” said Trey Daly, Ohio director for Enroll America, a nonprofit health insurance advocacy group. “Eight out of 10 of them have qualified for premium tax credits to make the coverage more affordable. Four out of 10 Ohioans qualified for plans with premiums of $50 a month or less.”

Nationwide, 12.7 million consumers were enrolled in marketplace coverage at the end of open enrollment, with more than 9.6 million enrolling through the HealthCare.gov platform, and 3.1 million selecting state-based marketplaces.

“Open Enrollment for 2016 is over, and we are happy to report it was a success,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “Americans selected affordable, quality health plans for 2016 coverage, exceeding our goals. That includes over 4 million new consumers in the HealthCare.gov states who signed-up for coverage this year.”

The three-month enrollment period ended Jan. 31, but some people can qualify for a special enrollment period for 60 days following life events such as job loss, marriage or the birth of a child.

Despite this year’s gains, millions of Americans remain uninsured, including about 450,000 in Ohio, most of whom are income-eligible for tax credits to help purchase coverage in the marketplace.

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