92K State Residents Have Signed Up For Health Care On Exchange Since November

Figure Does Not Account For Automatic Re-Enrollments

Photo: Amancay Maahs (CC-BY-NC-ND).

A federal report shows that almost 92,400 Wisconsin residents have signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act during the latest sign-up period.

The number of people who signed up during the first month of the 2015 Open Enrollment Period is significantly higher than last year. ABC for Health Executive Director Bobby Peterson said that’s a promising sign that the marketplace is gaining momentum, especially after what he calls “an abysmal start” last time.

“We have a marketplace this year that’s functioning, that’s much less complicated for people — many less pageviews. It’s a night and day comparison, so you really would expect the numbers to be significantly higher this point than they were last year. And of course they are.”

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Last period, almost 140,000 people in Wisconsin signed up for health insurance through the marketplace. Peterson anticipates that being much higher this year.

The same federal report shows that 58 percent of the Wisconsin residents enrolling in the online marketplace also enrolled last year. That figure does not include people who opted for automatic re-enrollment.

ABC for Health Executive Director Bobby Peterson said it’s easy to stick to the same plan through auto-enrollment, but he hopes people get in the habit of reviewing their coverage annually.

“It’s a good idea generally, because there’s always this creep in the cost of your benefits. And if you go back in, evaluate them, you might find there’s a less-expensive option that’s as comprehensive or maybe better for you and your family,” he said.

The last day to sign up for coverage is Feb. 15.