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Enrollment skews older in Conn. health marketplace


HARTFORD (AP) — Older people are signing up for health care coverage under Connecticut’s insurance marketplace, data released Tuesday showed.

Fifty-four percent of the 12,648 individuals enrolled in private insurance plans and government-funded Medicaid are between 45 and 64 years old, according to demographic information as of Nov. 14 released by the marketplace, Access Health CT.

Of just the 7,092 who enrolled in private insurance, 61 percent are between 45 and 64.

One concern about the insurance marketplaces that are a key component of President Barack Obama’s health care law was they won’t attract young, healthy people to make them financially viable. Insurers have warned they need a wide range of people signing up for coverage because premiums paid by younger and healthier adults are needed to offset the cost of carrying older and sicker customers who typically generate far more in medical bills than they contribute in premiums.

Connecticut is not alone. In California, most of those who applied were older people with health problems. In Kentucky, nearly 3 of 4 enrollees were over 35. In Washington state, less than a quarter of enrollees were between 18 and 34.

More young people could just be waiting to sign up. They have until Dec. 15 if they want to be covered Jan. 1.

Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan said he expects a surge in enrollment in private insurance plans after Thanksgiving and until mid-December.

According to Connecticut’s latest enrollment data, 10 percent of total enrollees since Oct. 1 are between the ages of 18 and 25, 12 percent between 26 and 34 and 12 percent between 35 and 44. The rest are either under 18 or are 65 and older. Among those signing up for private plans, 8 percent are between 18 and 25; 11 percent between 26 and 34; and 12 percent between 35 and 44.

Access Health said 7,092 individuals have enrolled in private plans while 5,224 signed up for Medicaid. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield is the most popular private plan choice.

Among those enrolling in the private plans, 31 percent did not receive any financial subsidy.



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