J.P. Wieske, spokesman for the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI), said approximately 50 percent of those who have enrolled for health insurance through HealthCare.gov in Wisconsin have paid a premium.
On Monday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released new enrollment numbers that showed 40,752 people in Wisconsin had signed up for coverage on the new Obamacare exchanges in the first three months of open enrollment.
“While 40,000 people have enrolled, roughly half have paid their premium,” Wieske said. “Hopefully that number is higher now, but last we heard (from insurers) it was roughly 50 percent.”
Wieske also said it is important for those who have enrolled to verify with their insurer that a premium has been paid.
The new enrollment numbers are encouraging, said Wieske.
“We’ve got pretty good enrollment numbers in Wisconsin,” he said. “We’re higher than 11 of the 15 states that have done their own exchange. It shows our outreach worked.”
In the wake of the new data, some, including Citizen Action of Wisconsin, have raised concerns over the fact that fewer people in the 18 to 34 age range in Wisconsin have enrolled for coverage. 19 percent of those who have enrolled in Wisconsin are between 18 and 34 years old, which is short of the federal mark, 25 percent.
Wieske said that while the group of enrollees does in fact skew older, which could cause insurers to raise rates, he said it’s too early to tell whether or not this is a long-term problem.
“It’s concerning, but let’s wait until the open enrollment period is done,” he said.