Mich. health care sign-ups jump 25% to nearly 341,000

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

Nearly 341,000 Michigan residents have enrolled in health insurance for 2015 under the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday.

The figures — released three days after the deadline for open enrollment ended in the Health Insurance Marketplace — reflect a 25 percent enrollment increase in the state, up from 272,539 people in 2014.

Nationally, about 11.4 million Americans chose the marketplace plan or were automatically re-enrolled since Nov. 15. This is an increase of 40 percent over last year’s 8.1 million.

“The Affordable Care Act is now an important part of the everyday lives of millions of Americans,” HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said. “They finally have the financial and health security that comes with affordable health coverage. They now can fill prescriptions and take their children to the doctor.”

This is the nation’s second year of signing people up for insurance coverage, and re-enrolling some, under the federal law known popularly as Obamacare.

Michigan is among 37 states using the HealthCare.gov federal exchange. Of those, nearly 8 in 10 consumers had the option of getting health care coverage for as low as $100 a month or less, according to HHS.

Of the 340,905 Michigan residents who selected or re-enrolled in plans, nearly half — 157,068 — were from the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn area, officials said. Another 33,244 were in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming area.

Kevin Counihan, director and marketplace CEO for the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said there has been good growth in Michigan compared with last year.

“We’re trying to create a culture of coverage,” Counihan said.