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1,150 Ohioans Get Coverage Using Federal Exchange

Federal officials said Wednesday that just 1,150 Ohio residents successfully picked health insurance plans last month through the new online marketplace created by President Barack Obama’s law. More than 24,000 Ohio residents submitted paper or electronic applications for health coverage for more than 45,000 people, such as themselves, their spouses and children, the report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows. The report covers enrollment and application figures from Oct. 1 through Nov. 2. Ohio opted to let the federal government run its insurance exchange, instead of launching its own. The state is among the 36 states relying on the problem-plagued federal website, www.healthcare.gov. Fewer than 27,000 people managed to sign up for private health insurance last month in states using the site, according to the Obama administration report. States running their own enrollment systems did better, signing up more than 79,000, for a total enrollment of more than 106,000. Ohio trailed of its some neighboring states, though it was ahead of others. More than 1,300 people had picked plans in Michigan, while slightly more than 2,200 had enrolled in Pennsylvania. In Indiana, 701 residents chose a health insurance plan. West Virginia had 174. A recent analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that about 544,000 Ohioans will be eligible for tax credits under the federal health care law if they purchase coverage through the new marketplace. To qualify, people must earn between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. That’s between $23,550 and $94,200 annually for a family of four. They cannot be eligible for affordable coverage from an employer or from Medicaid or Medicare. The Kaiser study also estimated that Ohio has about 812,000 potential customers for the marketplace. More than 1.5 million Ohio residents are uninsured, or about 14 percent.