By the end of 2013, more than 3,300 Alaskans had signed up for health care through the Affordable Care Act website healthcare.gov, according to figures released Monday by the Department of Health and Social Services.
The report released Monday breaks down enrollment numbers nationwide from Oct. 1 to Dec. 28, 2013. In Alaska, 3,356 Alaskans signed up for health care during that time. Of those, 83 percent of individuals were eligible for some kind of financial assistance.
More than 60 percent of people chose a “silver plan,” which offers more coverage than a bronze plan, and a smaller monthly rate than a gold plan.
The highest percentage of enrollees were between the ages 55 and 64, with 29 percent of Alaska enrollees falling into that bracket. Second highest were people aged 45 to 54, covering 21 percent of enrollees. Fifty-two percent of total enrollees were female.
More than 6,000 households have completed applications in Alaska, encompassing around 9,800 individuals. Of these, roughly 8,000 individuals were found eligible to enroll in a plan through healthcare.gov, and around 4,600 were also eligible for financial assistance. Around 1,500 people were found eligible for Medicaid or Denali Kid Care. Not all those who completed an application actually enrolled in a health care plan.
More than 2.1 million households nationwide signed up for health care between October and December, the report states.
The report said that on federally-facilitated marketplaces -- used by states that elected not to create a state-run insurance marketplace, including Alaska -- a seven-fold increase in plan selection was seen in December. Those numbers indicate some success in fixing the errors and glitches that plagued healthcare.gov when it was unveiled in October. Those glitches were gradually smoothed out in the wake of the rollout, but at the end of December some reported there was still work to be done on improving the website.
Alaskans have until March 31 to enroll in the health care exchange without penalties. Going forward, registration will go in waves: sign up for health care by the 15th of the month, and your health care coverage will start on the first of the following month. Sign up by the first of the month, and your health care will start on the 15th.
Not everyone without insurance needs to sign up for health care -- there are several exceptions that may qualify you for an exemption.