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100,000 Missourians enrolled for health insurance but uninsured number remains high

January 4, 2015 at 5:01 a.m. | Updated January 4, 2015 at 5:01 a.m.

More than 100,000 Missourians have signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplace in 30 days, but this could have little to no effect on the approximately 790,000 uninsured state residents, officials said.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) recently released a report providing statistics related to the roughly 3.4 million newly insured individuals through the Marketplace. However, the 102,000 new plans include those who have switched from a private plan or plan provided by an employer to a plan provided through the Marketplace, said Nancy Kelley, program director for the Cover Missouri Coalition (CMC).

CMC is an organization of Marketplace navigators whose goal is to decrease the number of uninsured Missourians to fewer than 5 percent in five years. The CMC also advocates for people to sign up for insurance before Dec. 15 so they are more likely to have coverage starting the new year and avoid financial penalties. Roughly 1 million of the nation's newly insured have done so, according to the DHS report.

"There are still that many uninsured individuals in Missouri, we still have over 790,000 uninsured," Kelley said. "The open enrollment ends Feb. 15, so people still have some time."

Half of the new plans in the state are customers re-enrolling in Marketplace coverage, and the other half are new consumers, the DHS report states. Those new plans can mean switching plans or being insured for the first time.

The report also states more than 145,000 individuals have completed the application for coverage, 70 percent have selected a plan, 21 percent have been deemed eligible but not selected a plan, and 9 percent are eligible for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program. None of the Missouri applications are pending.

Of those approximately 145,000 individuals, more than 133,000 are eligible for a Marketplace plan, and more than 80 percent of them qualify for a plan with financial assistance, according to the report. All together, nearly 87 percent of the new plans from the 37 states that use a federally-facilitated Marketplace qualify for financial assistance.

Missouri uses the federally-facilitated Marketplace,, because it does not have a state-based service like in Kentucky or Washington.

Also within those 37 states, 33 percent of those enrolled were younger than 35, which is an increase from the 29 percent of last year.

The horror stories of inoperable web pages and frozen loading screens have decreased significantly this year as well, Kelley said. The most common complaint she has heard is people forgetting the password they created last year.

If anyone is having trouble navigating the health care website, tutorial videos are available at as are phone numbers for health care call centers. Phone centers also are listed on the website.


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