NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nearly 60,000 Tennesseans signed up for coverage under the federal health insurance exchange through January, a 65 percent increase since the beginning of year.
According to nationwide statistics released Monday, 3.3 million people signed up from last Oct. 1 through Feb. 1.
Of those who have signed up in Tennessee, adults ages 55 to 64 made up 33 percent of the total, while young adults between 18 and 34 made up 25 percent. Independent experts say that total needs to be closer to 40 percent to control costs.
Seventy percent of enrollees selected the mid-level silver plan, while 16 percent chose the lowest bronze level. Gold-level polices made up 9 percent, and the top-level platinum policies made up 5 percent.
About 36,000 people had signed up through December.
Note: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services press release is below.
News release from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
[MEMPHIS, TN] — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released numbers today indicating that nearly 60,000 Tennesseans enrolled in health coverage via the state Health Insurance Marketplace through February 1. The 23,455 Tennesseans who signed up in just over a month (December 29-February 1) equal about two-thirds as many as those who signed up in the three-month period from October 1-December 28.
“The January enrollment numbers show that Tennesseans continue to be interested in obtaining affordable health insurance, but many still do not realize plans exist that are well within their grasp. Four in five of the Tennesseans who have signed up for a health care plan thus far have qualified for financial assistance. Yet, our research indicates that many uninsured Tennesseans remain unaware that financial help to pay for premiums is available,” said Tobi Johnson, Get Covered America’s Tennessee State Director. “This has only strengthened our resolve to expand our outreach. Our community volunteers and partner organizations will continue to reach out to uninsured Tennesseans — especially in Memphis and Nashville — to let them know that quality, affordable health insurance plans are here, they are available, and we can help connect them with expert assistance to help them enroll.”
Of the 59,705 people in Tennessee who have enrolled, 79% received financial help to defray the cost of premiums. Six in 10 Americans can find a plan for $100 a month or less, but polling released in January by Enroll America found that a majority of the uninsured still didn’t know that financial assistance was available.
The Get Covered America – Tennessee campaign is working with Organizers and volunteers across the state, and will help expand the work of partners like the Get Covered Tennessee Coalition, Seedco, the Tennessee Primary Care Association, the Tennessee Hospital Association, and Family & Children’s Service in volunteer training, outreach, and enrollment events. Open enrollment runs through March 31. Community members are encouraged to get involved in this worthwhile effort. They can call (901) 343-7095 to volunteer.