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Enrollment In Ohio's Affordable Care Act Plans Lags Behind Expectations

The Obama administration says healthcare.gov is ready for an enrollment surge in the coming two weeks.
The Obama administration says healthcare.gov is ready for an enrollment surge in the coming two weeks.

Nearly 80,000 Ohio residents have selected a health insurance plan on the federally run exchanges.

The data, released late Tuesday, reveals that most of those signing up were older and female. And 85 percent received some sort of financial assistance, such as a subsidy or tax credit.

Amy Rohling McGee, president of the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, says she has one major concern with the enrollment number: It's only a fraction of who should be signing up.

"There are about 812,000 Ohioans who are eligible to purchase coverage in the market place, so we're now at about 10 percent of those who are eligible actually having gone through and enrolled in the plan," McGee says.

McGee's estimate comes from a November Kaiser Family Foundation report, which estimates "potential market size" in each state.

says any new program needs time to ramp up and she points to a need for more education to help potential enrollees understand what's available.

There's one other number in the report that has raised concerns among insurers: About 21 percent of those selecting a plan in Ohio are 18 to 34 years old as compared with 25 percent nationwide.

Insurers have said a higher percentage of younger and healthier adults are needed to balance out the risk of providing coverage for older enrollees.

The deadline to enroll is March 31.