Health Alliance has 1,500 marketplace signees, hopes for 8,000-9,000

Health Alliance has 1,500 marketplace signees, hopes for 8,000-9,000

URBANA — Health Alliance Medical Plans says it hopes to enroll 8,000 to 9,000 new members through the government health marketplace by the national deadline March 31, though the company is many thousands of enrollments away from that goal.

"On the public exchange, we have a little over 1,500 (enrollments) in Illinois," Jana Perry, the company's vice president of Medicare and individual services said Thursday.

The next enrollment deadline coming up is Feb. 15 for people who still don't have coverage. Sign-ups by that date can mean coverage starting March 1, with the final deadline for enrollment in health plans in the government marketplace for this year March 31.

Statewide, enrollments for all insurers in the marketplace increased nearly eightfold in December over October and November, the first two months people were able to sign up for those health plans. Nationally, enrollments increased fivefold in December, according to government data released Monday.

Perry said Health Alliance had hoped to be a bit farther ahead on enrollments by Jan. 1, but is gearing up for the last two months.

Health Alliance is seeing a higher enrollment in plans through the private market, to people who don't think they qualify financially for a premium subsidy through the public marketplace, Perry also said.

All new customers signing up through the marketplace are being asked to wait seven days for the company to receive and process their enrollment information from the federal government, she said.

Health Alliance is receiving updates on its newly-enrolled customers, and has resolved the few cases of lost, or "orphan" records that have occurred for new enrollees, Perry said.

"We've had less than 20 records that probably separated through the file pass," she said.

Most newly insured health plan members are paying at the time of enrollment, even though Health Alliance extended the first payment deadline twice, from Dec. 31, 2013, to Jan. 10 and now to Jan. 31, Perry said.

For those delaying payment to the new deadline, coverage is being extended retroactive to Jan. 1 as long the enrollment was completed before Jan. 1, Perry said.

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