Posted on 11 December 2014.
Michiganders newly enrolling or changing their health insurance offered through the Affordable Care Act have more options to choose from this time around, with an expansion of carriers in the state’s federally-run marketplace. Image courtesy of www.healthcare.gov.
Mona Shand, Michigan News Connection
When it comes to open enrollment for health-insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act, experts say in many ways, the second time is the charm.
With the kinks worked out of the federal HealthCare.gov website and more options to choose from, the second open-enrollment period is off to a smooth start, said Philip Bergquist, director of health-center operations for the Michigan Primary Care Association. This time around, he said, more Michigan residents are able to use technology to their advantage.
“We’re seeing more mobile use of HealthCare.gov, folks with tablets at events, doing it in local businesses,” he said. “Really wherever the need is.”
From new enrollees looking for first-time coverage to those shopping the new additions to the marketplace, Bergquist said he sees signs that the conversation around health insurance in Michigan is improving.
“More detailed questions, more in-depth conversations,” he said, “and that’s really exciting because it’s showing that the base of enrollees in the marketplace is really learning a lot about the coverage that they’ve selected and how to use it.”
However, federal data suggest about a quarter-million Michigan residents who are eligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act have yet to get it. Right now, 17 different carriers—four more than last year and the highest number of any state with a federally run marketplace—are offering policies.
The open-enrollment period runs through Feb. 15, but anyone looking for coverage to begin in January must purchase a plan by Dec. 15. Enrollment-assistance information is available online at EnrollMichigan.com.