By Jerry Geisel, Crain News Service
WASHINGTON (Dec. 31, 2014) — Nearly 6.5 million individuals signed up for health insurance plans through the federal exchange during the first six weeks of the 2015 open enrollment, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported Dec. 30.
Of the 6,490,492 individuals who selected exchange coverage between Nov. 15 — the start of the 2015 open enrollment season — and Dec. 26, 96,446 opted for coverage between Dec. 20 and Dec. 26.
The selection of plans by nearly 6.5 million individuals through Dec. 26 is sharply higher compared with a year ago, when 1,196,430 individuals had enrolled by the end of 2013.
Separately, HHS reported that as of Dec. 15, 87 percent of enrollees in the 37 states in which the federal government operates exchanges were eligible for health care reform law subsidies to offset plan premiums, up from 80 percent during a similar 2014 open enrollment period.
Those subsidies are available to those earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, which comes to $46,680 for an individual or $95,400 for a family of four.
This report appeared on the website of Crain's Business Insurance magazine, a Chicago-based sister publication of Tire Business.