Open Enrollment On Federal Health Insurance Exchange Begins Saturday

140K Residents Signed Up For Insurance On Marketplace Last Year

The Healthcare.Gov website.

Saturday marks the start of the second sign-up period for people to get insurance on Wisconsin’s federally run marketplace.

Consumer groups and insurers hope this enrollment will go smoother than the first. There were technical glitches during the first go-around for Once fixed, however, nearly 140,000 Wisconsinites signed up on the federally run marketplace.

Last year’s enrollment window was six months. This year, it’s three months.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Diane Gabrielsen is director of product management at Dean Health Plan, one of 15 Wisconsin insurers selling on the exchange.

“It is more compressed,” Gabrielson said. “I think that could be challenging for some people. But the process is significantly better.”

The federal website where people sign up has been streamlined in the hopes it will be easier to use, according to Jim Baird, vice president of individual sales at WPS Insurance. Like the first time, however, there’s concern over whether the website can handle all the traffic.

“When you have so many people that have to get through, either on a renewal basis or purchasing a plan for the first time, and if they want a Jan. 1 effective (coverage) date, they really have that one-month period (to sign up),” said Baird.

Ninety percent of those buying coverage on the marketplace got federal subsidies last year. Molly Bandt directs Covering Kids & Families, a federally designated navigator organization for southern Wisconsin. She said that even if people are keeping last year’s plan, they should go to to update their income, “because they want to make sure that their premiums end up being based on current information and not last year’s information.”

On average, plans sold on the marketplace are expected to increase nearly 3 percent.

Related Stories