It’s April 15, the extended deadline for people who were in line by March 31 to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, but were unable to sign up due to web traffic, technical glitches and other similar problems.
The state Department of Insurance collects every two weeks registration data from the four companies in the state operating on the federal exchange. Of the dozens of licensed South Carolina insurance companies, two Blue Cross and Blue Shield divisions, Coventry Health Care of the Carolinas, and Consumers’ Choice Health Insurance Company are the only four selling products in the federal marketplace.
And what does the ACA look like in South Carolina according to the numbers?
- 97,387 sought insurance on the federal exchange as of March 31, including those starting the registration process
- 55,260 of the 97,387 finished the application process, including paying for their health plan
- 89 percent of the more than 55,000 are receiving a federal subsidy for their health care, including qualifying for payment of premiums or out-of-pocket expenses like deductibles
- The average age of those insured on the federal exchange is 44
- 35 is the average age of those insured off the exchange
- Between March 16 and 31, approximately 30,000 additional people enrolled for health insurance
The state insurance agency’s chief, Ray Farmer is concerned with the average age of those insured on the exchange. With an older population comes more medical expenses, he said by phone Monday.
Farmer declined to comment on how well the federal exchange is working in South Carolina. Republican Gov. Nikki Haley and other Republican lawmakers have rejected setting up a state-run exchange. “That is the correct decision,” said Farmer, citing the high costs seen by other states who are running their own exchanges.