Officials: ‘Robust response’ in first month of marketplace enrollment in Pa., NJ and Del.

    This file photo shows the short form for the federal Affordable Care Act application. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

    This file photo shows the short form for the federal Affordable Care Act application. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

    For the first time, federal officials have released specific Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey numbers on how many people signed up for coverage during the first month of open enrollment in marketplace health plans this year.

    Enrollment began Nov. 15. For those who signed up by Dec. 15, coverage kicks in Thursday.

    At the end of the first enrollment period in April, officials reported 318,077 sign-ups in Pennsylvania.

    During the first month of open enrollment this year, about 95,000 people signed up for the very first time and about 85,000 people actively renewed or changed the marketplace coverage they already had.

    “It’s good news all the way around,” said Joanne Grossi, Region III director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “We’re seeing the kind of enrollment numbers that we’d hoped to see.”

    Unlike last year, the enrollment experience this year was not marred by major technical problems with

    In neighboring New Jersey, about 100,000 people signed up or actively renewed their marketplace coverage. About 9,000 people followed suit in Delaware.

    In all three states, nearly four in five enrollees qualified for some form of federal assistance to pay for premiums.

    The latest numbers include people who signed up for coverage the first time or actively re-enrolled or changed their current plans. The numbers don’t include those who signed up for coverage during the first enrollment period, but didn’t do anything by Dec. 15 of this year. That means they’ll be automatically re-enrolled in coverage on Thursday.

    Officials, including Grossi, have been encouraging people to review their plans and all available options, as the cost and benefits in their current coverage could be changing.

    These new estimates also don’t include the tens of thousands of newly eligible Pennsylvanians who’ve already applied for that state’s new HealthyPA Medicaid option. For those who sign up by Wednesday, coverage takes effect Thursday.

    Similarly, the new estimates don’t include sign-ups for New Jersey and Delaware’s expanded Medicaid, which took effect last January.

    Grossi doesn’t have a state-specific goal for sign ups, but nationwide she and others are aiming for 9.1 million combined sign-ups and renewals by the close of open enrollment Feb. 15.

    The latest figures have that number at 6.5 million.

    People have until Feb. 15 to sign up or change their plan.

    EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been edited to reflect that the Department of Health and Human Services’ goal is 9.1 million signups, not 9.5, as previously reported.

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