Colorado Mirrors Nation In Health Signups
DENVER (AP) – Nearly a third of the Coloradans signing up for health insurance under President Barack Obama’s law are 55 or older.
Thirty-two percent of the 50,000 Coloradans who signed up between Oct. 1 and Dec. 28 were aged 55 to 64. Medicare starts at 65.
Colorado’s figure was released Monday by the Obama administration in a national accounting of age and gender breakdowns for the more than 2 million Americans who had enrolled for government-subsidized private insurance by the end of December.
Colorado tried to lure young and healthy folks to the insurance marketplace by sending text messages targeting young people and airing ads showing skateboarders and other young customers. But it doesn’t appear the effort made much of a difference compared with other states’ attempts.
Young adults from 18-34 made up 22 percent of the enrollees in Colorado. Nationally, that age group was just 24 percent.
Independent experts say the 18-34 group should be more like 40 percent of the enrollees to help control premiums.
Colorado’s gender breakdown also mirrored that of the nation. Women in Colorado were 53 percent of those signing up, compared with the national figure of 54 percent.
Nearly half of those signing up in Colorado, 46 percent, are choosing midrange “Silver” plans. Thirty-eight percent chose a “Bronze” plan, which has lower monthly premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs. Thirteen percent chose “Gold” plans, and just 1 percent chose a “Platinum” plan.
Officials with Colorado’s state-run insurance marketplace, Connect For Health Colorado, touted the numbers released Monday. They pointed to the fact that Colorado’s enrollment was fourth among states running their own exchanges, instead of using the federal exchange.
“While we’re happy to see more and more Coloradans purchasing health insurance, we feel like we just passed the halfway point of this open enrollment period and have three more months to earn consumers’ attention and educate them on the value of the tax credits before March 31,” exchange CEO Patty Fontneau said in a statement.
Colorado is less than halfway toward its goal of having 133,500 insurance signups by the end of open enrollment at the end of March.
– By Kristen Wyatt, AP Writer
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