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Push Is On to Reach Uninsured Michiganders

PHOTO: Time is running out for Michigan residents who wish to enroll in a health insurance plan or change their 2015 coverage to begin in January. Image courtesy of healthcare.gov.
PHOTO: Time is running out for Michigan residents who wish to enroll in a health insurance plan or change their 2015 coverage to begin in January. Image courtesy of healthcare.gov.
December 12, 2014

LANSING, Mich. - 'Tis the season for shopping, and health experts hope Michiganders will seize the opportunity to purchase one of the most important gifts they can give themselves and their families: health insurance.

Last year, more than 272,000 Michigan residents were able to obtain health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act. But Kathleen Falk, U.S. Health and Human Services director for Region 5, said far too many people still remain uninsured in the state and across the nation.

"So many of the uninsured do not believe that the day would ever come where they could buy affordable health insurance," she said. "Showing them that this product is so affordable is the single most important thing we can be doing to reach out."

According to Enroll Michigan, 87 percent of Michiganders who enrolled last year qualified for some form of financial assistance, with the average person receiving a $246 reduction in their monthly premium. Open enrollment runs through Feb. 15, but those looking for coverage to begin in January must act by this coming Monday.

Falk said she hopes people will tune out the political rhetoric surrounding the Affordable Care Act and just take the time to do their own research.

"Seventy percent of those who purchased insurance got it for $100 or less a month," she said. "The news is even better for this second round, and that's why we encourage those to shop - either if you had insurance or not."

In Michigan, four additional insurers have joined the Health Insurance Marketplace, and experts advise even those who enrolled last year to take another look at the plans available.

More information is online at healthcare.gov.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI