Pennsylvania Obamacare Enrollment Tops 300,000

05.06.14 | Bill Price

About 318,000 Pennsylvania residents signed up for Obamacare health insurance during the 2014 enrollment period that ended March 31, according to figures recently released by the federal government. Of those, 81 percent received financial assistance toward the cost of their coverage.

The Pennsylvania enrollees include about 34,000 people, or 11 percent of the total, who are between the ages of 18 and 25 — an an age group that is important because, being younger and healthier, they are needed to offset the cost older, sicker people. Another 62,000 Pennsylvania enrollees, or 19 percent of the total, are between 26 and 34.

The largest group of Pennsylvania enrollees is people aged 55-64. This group numbered 88,239, or 28 percent of the total. The government reported that 73 percent of Pennsylvania enrollees chose a silver plan, which the second highest level of plan in terms of covered benefits and cost to the enrollee.

The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania put out a statement which said, in part, “Giving as many Pennsylvanians as possible access to affordable health coverage has been a top priority for Pennsylvania hospitals for nearly a generation. Pennsylvania’s marketplace enrollment exceeded our internal analysis and projections. That’s great news for the health of the commonwealth, and a testimony to the tireless efforts of navigators, community groups, hospitals, and other health care providers who helped uninsured Pennsylvanians enroll via the marketplace. It’s also good news that so many Pennsylvanians under 35 enrolled and will have access to the routine and preventive health care that will help them live long, healthy lives.”

Nationally, more than 8 million people had enrolled as of March 31, which surpassed original expectations, even those set before the technological problems that interfered with enrollment on the federally-run exchange that served three dozen states including Pennsylvania.

The federal government also noted that Pennsylvania enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP rose by about 41,000 between Oct. 1 and March 31.

The deadline for having coverage and avoiding a fine was March 31.

Previously, Pennsylvania had about 1.2 million uninsured residents.