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84% buying health insurance eligible for federal subsidy

Dec. 5, 2013 at 12:51 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- As of Nov. 2, far fewer marketplace healthcare insurance applicants applied for federal subsidies than the number eligible, a U.S. analysis showed.

The Avalere Health analysis found 30 percent of marketplace healthcare insurance applicants were eligible for federal subsidies -- far below the 84 percent of enrollees who are ultimately expected to qualify for financial assistance.

State-based exchanges are tracking behind states with federally run exchanges, with 23 percent of eligible applicants being subsidy-eligible in state-based exchanges compared with 34 percent in federally run exchanges, the analysis said.

"The figures show the potential for increased exchange enrollment in the coming weeks as we get closer to the deadline for 2014 insurance," Dan Mendelson, chief executive officer of Avalere Health, said in a statement.

"As lower-income Americans determine that they have access to subsidized commercial insurance products, we can expect to see many enroll to save money."

On Nov. 12, the Department of Health and Human Services released enrollment data for the health insurance exchanges from Oct. 1-Nov. 2. The data showed 106,000 people nationwide had enrolled in coverage and selected a health plan.

However, nearly 1.1 million individuals had applied and been deemed eligible for coverage, Mendelson said. Among those, 30 percent were eligible for subsidies, meaning they had incomes below 400 percent of the poverty line -- $45,960 for a single person or $94,200 for a family of four.

Avalere Health projects 84 percent of final exchange enrollees are ultimately expected to qualify for subsidies, Mendelson said.

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