Report shows that Nebraskans could be missing out on health insurance subsidies
Residents of Nebraska have been slow to enroll in the state’s health insurance exchange due to technical difficulties and uncertainty concerning the options that are available to them. A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that approximately 239,000 people could find better coverage through the exchange, but only 500 people have enrolled into the exchange thus far. The report shows that many people are eligible for federal subsidies that could offset the cost of health insurance coverage, but low enrollment rates could mean that these people are missing out on this financial aid.
122,000 are eligible for subsidies
According to the report, some 122,000 people throughout Nebraska qualify for federal subsidies. These subsidies are meant to reduce the financial burden that health insurance represents and give consumers more options when it comes to seeking out coverage through state-based exchanges. Nationwide, the report estimates that as many as 17 million people are eligible for these subsidies out of a predicted 29 million that will seek out coverage through health insurance exchanges.
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Enrollment is low due to technical problems
Enrollment in Nebraska’s exchange has been somewhat sluggish due to technical difficulties associated with the federal exchange network. Nebraska is one of 36 states that have opted to allow the federal government to manage their health insurance exchange systems. Problems with the federal network have crippled people’s ability to enroll in state-based exchanges, but these issues are expected to be resolved by the end of the year.
32,500 people fall into coverage gap
The report suggests that more than 32,500 Nebraska residents will fall into a so called “coverage gap.” This gap represents those whose incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid coverage but not low enough to be considered eligible for federal subsidies. These people will bear the full cost of health insurance coverage, whether coverage is received through the state’s exchange or through the private market.