Bubbling Up

Highlights, notable events, and more up-to-date news from the Foundation.

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253,969 Missourians Found Coverage Through
the Health Insurance Marketplace

Missouri ranked 9th in total enrollees; up 101,634 from previous enrollment period.

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that 253,969 Missourians found quality, affordable coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace during the 2014-2015 open enrollment period. This success is due, in large part, to the ongoing efforts of the Cover Missouri Coalition to educate and enroll consumers in Marketplace plans.

Before and during the open enrollment period, Cover Missouri Coalition members hosted hundreds of free education and enrollment events, distributed informational materials on Marketplace plans and financial options, extended office hours, provided in-person support, and answered questions via social media chats focused on LGBTQ health, women and family health and even Spanish-speaking Latinos. As a result, enrollment numbers throughout the state increased by 67 percent over the last enrollment period.

“We are enormously pleased with the efforts of our Cover Missouri Coalition members and partners to educate consumers throughout this enrollment period,” said Ryan Barker, vice president of health policy for the Missouri Foundation for Health. “Now, Missourians who have never been able to afford insurance can experience the freedom it provides for themselves, their families or employees.”

The second year of open enrollment closed with more than 11.4 million consumers nationwide enrolling in health plans. Of the 11.4 million, 8.6 million consumers were automatically re-enrolled or chose a plan through the federally-run Marketplace, healthcare.gov. Recent data shows that 112,118 consumers in St. Louis enrolled from Nov. 15 – Feb. 15.

“This year, more than 250,000 Missourians enrolled in a health plan, over 100,000 more than last year,” said Nancy Kelley, program director for the Expanding Coverage Initiative. “Building on this success, we will continue to work toward our goal of reducing the rate of uninsured in Missouri to less than five percent in five years.”

Earlier this week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that consumers who were unable to complete the enrollment process through the Marketplace by the Feb. 15 deadline because of longer than normal wait times or because of technical issues would be provided with a time-limited special enrollment period for March 1 coverage. That deadline ends this Sunday, Feb. 22. The Cover Missouri Coalition continues to offer free assistance to Missourians who are completing their applications.

Beyond that date, consumers who experience “qualifying life events,” such as marriage, loss of coverage, birth or adoption of a child, residential move or change in U.S. citizenship, will be eligible for a special enrollment period to get covered in the Marketplace. To learn more about the Cover Missouri Coalition and its activities – and to see if you qualify for coverage through the special enrollment period – visit www.covermissouri.org.

About Cover Missouri Coalition

Cover Missouri is a project of the Missouri Foundation for Health to promote quality, affordable health coverage for every Missourian. The Cover Missouri Coalition aims to reduce the rate of uninsured Missourians to less than five percent in the next five years. Members work to build awareness, facilitate enrollment, increase health insurance literacy, and support Medicaid transformation. Coalition members will also share learning and best practices, maximize resources, identify challenges and opportunities, and build an inclusive plan to insure Missourians. For more information on the Marketplace, please visit covermissouri.org.