|By Stephen T. Watson, The Buffalo News, N.Y.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
That market share data is a highlight of a report released Wednesday by the state
The exchange is a key piece of the federal Affordable Care Act. The measure sought to cover the uninsured, while lowering overall health care spending, but generated controversy.
A nonprofit cooperative headquartered in
"I think historically health insurance has been a price-sensitive purchase. So it's not surprising that the lower-cost plans did better initially," said
It's important to note that insurance purchased through the exchange represents a small portion of the insurance companies' business.
The vast majority of people get health insurance through an employer or a government plan such as
Insurance officials say that in the enrollement period, shoppers need to look at more than just the sticker price. "Is their doctor in the network? And what kind of customer service does the plan provide? What kind of coverage? What are the benefits overall? And what other value-added benefits are included?" said
Other highlights of Wednesday's enrollment report include:
-- Statewide, 55 percent of exchange enrollees signed up for
-- Three-fourths of the 370,604 people who enrolled in a private health plan were eligible for one of the financial subsidies meant to bring down the cost of their insurance. The average tax credit they received was
-- 74 percent of people who signed up for coverage through the exchange did so after
-- 81 percent of people who enrolled through the exchange were uninsured at the time.
-- Exchange enrollment roughly followed state population trends, though
"It's the first year. It was kind of a pilot for everybody, and there were a lot of unknowns and uncertainties going into the marketplace," McGuire said.
-- One-quarter of the people who enrolled in a private health plan are ages 55 to 64, and 23 percent are 45 to 54. Combined, they account for nearly half of enrollees in private health plans. One-third of the people who enrolled in a private health plan through the exchange are younger than 35, the demographic coveted by insurers and architects of the marketplace.
The effort to get young people to sign up, Ingalls said, is "a marathon, not a sprint."
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