CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The deadline to enroll in the government backed health insurance plan created by the Affordable Care Act is looming and many still haven’t committed to the program.

“Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield says we’re about 25 percent below where they projected,” said Perry Bryant with West Virginians for Affordable Health Care. “I think they were looking to see something like 20 to 25-thousand people enrolled, we were at about 15-thousand at the first of March.”

Highmark is the only private carrier providing the coverage under the Obamacare program in West Virginia. Bryant said other states have seen many other companies get on board, but in West Virginia there was only one.

“Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield dominates West Virginia marketplace right now. They have about a 70 percent market share of individual and small group market and they have 100 percent,” said Bryant. “It’s not surprising.”

Bryant is encouraging anyone who doesn’t have coverage to go the healthcare.gov and shop the various plans available. The website custom tailors plans to fit a person’s age and income level. He said many are made more affordable when low wage earners can qualify for government subsidies for their coverage.

While many have been slow to register in the new exchanges, West Virginia’s expansion of Medicaid has been a huge hit.

“Enrollment there has gone exceedingly well. We’re a national leader,” Bryant said. “Over 100-thousand low income West Virginians have signed up for Medicaid expansion since October.”

 

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Comments

  • Mountain Navy

    I feel so fortunate I have employer based insurance, Tri Care insurance from the military and Veteran Administration. I pitty the people who have to sign up for Obamacare.

  • go figure

    WV leads the nation in......Medicaid sign-ups...That is really sad..should not be proud of those numbers.

    • Meltzen

      What nobody is reporting about Medicaid is back in 1993, Bill Clinton signed into law the Medicaid estate recovery program. In 1993, when Congress passed an omnibus budget bill that required states to recover the expense of long-term care and related costs for deceased Medicaid recipients 55 or older. The 1993 federal law also gave states the option to recover all other Medicaid expenses.

      If everyone is being channeled into Medicaid and everyone of all ages are on it - will we see this bill amended for the Gov to be able to recoup money from all ages. A back door to property confiscation based on we are being forced to have insurance and the lax of requirement to get onto Medicaid. Something to think about.

      • Mountain Navy

        I thought it was 55 and younger?

        • meltzen

          It is 55 right now. Has that changed But with requirements being changed and more people being put on there. what do you think is going to happen if people are using up these services. It was 65 then got changed to 55. Who's to say they will not lower it again to help recoup costs.

        • Meltzen

          It is. But with requirements being changed and more people being put on there. what do you think is going to happen if people are using up these services. It was 65 then got changed to 55. Who's to say they will not lower it again to help recoup costs.

  • fed up

    There is no deadline...the President will keep extending it hoping that more people will sign up..aint gonna happen.....Remember he has a pen and a phone and he can do what he wants...

  • Why is it that ...

    The Affordable Healthcare Act has now caused my co-pay to be nearly un-affordable ??