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Last-minute surge pushes Highmark past 100K enrollees

By - Last modified: April 2, 2014 at 11:26 AM

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The last 21 days of Obamacare open enrollment were big for Highmark, which added more than 30,000 Marketplace signups in Pennsylvania to bring its total to 104,324.

The insurer, which is based in Pittsburgh but has a large presence in Central Pennsylvania, also noted that it had 43,679 Pennsylvanians sign up outside the marketplace during the enrollment period.

“This was a whole new way to sell health insurance, and it was difficult to know what to expect when open enrollment began on October 1,” Deborah Rice-Johnson, president of Highmark Health Plan, said in a news release. “We’re pleased with the number of enrollees who have chosen Highmark.”

The numbers represent applications that have been verified and processed by Highmark, although members may not yet have completed the process by paying their first month’s premium.

UPMC Health Plan, which is also based in Western Pennsylvania, reported signing up 1,872 Pennsylvania members on the marketplace and 1,752 off it.

Nationally, more than 7.1 million people signed up through state or federal marketplaces, with a marked uptick at the end pushing the numbers beyond much-cited Congressional Budget Office projections that seemed unlikely through much of the enrollment period.

At last report on March 1, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said that of the 349,151 Pennsylvania residents eligible to enroll in a Marketplace plan, 159,821 had made selections.

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer covers Lancaster County, nonprofits, education and health care. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at heathers@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @StaufferCPBJ.

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