More than 14,000 Nebraskans covered through Marketplace to start 2014

NE_Appleseed_Icons_AffordableCareAct-128The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported this week Nebraska is in the top 20 of states in enrolling people in health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace.

According to DHHS figures, 14,464 Nebraskans have purchased private plans through the Marketplace.  That number is 77 percent of the goal set for the state by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, tying Nebraska for 16th nationally in plans sold versus goal.  Those numbers also don’t include the number of plans sold through carriers or agents directly.

“The Affordable Care Act has enabled thousands of Nebraskans to purchase affordable health insurance when many of them had been unable to afford quality coverage before.  This new data shows the ACA is working here in Nebraska,” said James Goddard, Health Care Director at Nebraska Appleseed, a member of Enroll Nebraska.  “This success is a testament to the importance Nebraskans place on quality health care and the hard work done by many organizations to educate and assist people looking for affordable coverage, including members of Enroll Nebraska.”

Nebraska also surpassed the national average in coverage for young adults.  More than a quarter of the plans (26 percent) sold through the Marketplace have been purchased by Nebraskans age 18-34.

“It’s tremendously satisfying that Nebraska is among the top performing states in reaching and enrolling the uninsured into new coverage options in the Health Insurance Marketplace,” said Rebecca Rayman, Executive Director of Good Neighbor Community Health Center and Board of Directors Chair of the Health Center Association of Nebraska.  “Despite the challenges of this endeavor, the Certified Application Counselors and staff at our health centers are ‘can-do’ people and are getting the job done.”

“The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska has assisted over 120 individuals since the marketplace opened, October 1st.  We have also participated in over 20 outreach activities for American Indians within the Ponca Service Delivery Area,” said Jan Henderson of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, a member of Enroll Nebraska.  “These counties include: Boyd, Burt, Douglas, Hall, Holt, Knox, Lancaster, Madison, Platte, Sarpy, Stanton and Wayne counties in Nebraska, Pottawatomi and Woodbury Counties in Iowa, and Charles Mix County of South Dakota.”

“This is very encouraging data,” said Chante Truscott, the Navigator Program Manager for Community Action of Nebraska, a member of Enroll Nebraska. “Nebraskans who were unable to previously afford health care were the first to apply for and enroll in coverage.  Outreach efforts are continuing across Nebraska to ensure the uninsured and underinsured people receive affordable coverage.”

Enroll Nebraska is a coalition of advocacy groups, health care providers, and community organizations that have joined together to connect and equip organizations with the resources they need to make sure all Nebraskans can enroll in health care coverage.

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