3,000-plus purchase insurance on state exchange

More than 3,000 Coloradans signed up for health insurance through Friday on the state’s marketplace, officials said Monday.

More than 40,000 people, meanwhile, established accounts on the marketplace, ConnectforHealthColorado.com CEO Patty Fontneau said in briefing the board on progress since the Oct. 1 beginning of the open-enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act.

The law requires all Americans to obtain health care coverage by Jan. 1, 2014, or pay a fine.

“We recognize that there are areas where we can improve our services,” Fontneau said in a statement. “We are working seven days a week to make those improvements and ensure that all of our agents/brokers and health-coverage guide partners are able to help customers shop and enroll in health insurance.”

The potential market for the insurance exchange in Colorado is estimated at between 760,000, according to the American Community Survey, and 853,000, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The American Community Survey said there are about 23,000 uninsured people in Mesa County.

Hilltop Community Resources’ Health Access office at 602 Bookcliff Ave. had seen 259 customers as of late Monday, most of whom were looking for information and considering options, Jackie Sievers, who heads the program, wrote in an email.

About one-fifth of the total, 52, opened accounts and purchased insurance and 53 were found to be eligible for Medicaid, Sievers said.

At ConnectforHealthColorado.com, officials logged more than 316,000 unique visitors and nearly 31,000 calls and chats with customer-service center representatives.

The average call or chat lasted four minutes, 28 seconds, the marketplace said.


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