Enrollment figures released today from the Utah Health Policy Project show a record 84,601 Utahns enrolled on healthcare.gov during the first open enrollment, making Utah one of the leading states for enrollment according to a press release sent out by Utah Health Policy Project.
Since the Oct. 1, 2013 rollout of healthcare.gov, glitches and bugs on the site have fueled criticisms and prompted public doubt about the feasibility of successful enrollment. However, the numbers collected from Oct. 1, 2013 to April 19, 2014 suggest it is working better than anyone expected in the Beehive State.
Utah’s 84,601 enrollees exceeded the initial goal set at 55,000 by 148 percent. Utah also ranked #1 in the country for enrolling the target demographic of 18–34-year-olds, making up 33 percent of healthcare.gov applications in Utah. Many individuals who took advantage of the new program were also eligible for additional financial assistance to curb the costs.
“When Utahns shopped for insurance on healthcare.gov they saw some of the lowest premiums in the country. Plus, more than four out of five Utahns signing up for new coverage were eligible for subsidies to reduce their costs even more,” said Jason Stevenson, education and communications director at the Utah Health Policy Project, in a press release.
Approximately 87 percent of Utahns who enrolled received a government subsidy to reduce their monthly premiums.
March 31 the first open enrollment period ended. Consumers looking to enroll will now have to wait until the next enrollment period between Nov. 15, 2014 and Feb. 15, 2015, unless they experience a “Qualifying Life Event.” Such events include getting married, having a baby, adopting a child, losing a job/school insurance or being a victim of domestic abuse.
Individuals without insurance coverage who earn above 100 percent of the federal poverty line will be fined $95 per adult or 1 percent of their income (whichever is higher) on their 2014 taxes, unless they qualify for an exemption.