|By Jennifer Hall, St. Joseph News-Press, Mo.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
"There has been an enormous, accelerated interest in the exchange recently," said
The marketplace got off to a rocky start last fall with a defective website that took more than a month to fix. Once the issues were resolved, participants hit the ground running. In the last month, there has been an even larger influx.
"I think young adults are going to come in in significant numbers,"
He is optimistic of how the Affordable Care Act disproportionately helps young adults with the tax premium subsidies for out-of-pocket costs.
An important factor is that they are provided on a sliding scale. Hence, those with the lowest income are receiving the greatest subsidies.
In the months leading up to the open enrollment,
"When you think insurance, you think sick," said the certified application counselor at
It's a misconception he wants to debunk. In his emergency room experience, he has seen 20-somethings come in after an auto accident with no insurance and leave with large medical bills.
"It's something that can ruin you financially," he said. "There are catastrophic plans. Premiums are low and deductibles are high. But it's a safeguard. It's for those unfortunate things that happen."
In recent weeks, "it's been all over the place," but mainly an influx of younger people, many in their early 30s.
An event Saturday was designed to provide information on the insurance program and get people in
"I think it was very beneficial that I was able to come here to get on the website myself," she said. "I tried before and always got kicked off. They actually took the time to walk me through it."
According to the Affordable Care Act, if a plan covers children, they can be added to or kept on a parent's health insurance policy until they turn 26. This includes children who are married, not living with their parents, attending school, not financially dependent on their parents or eligible to enroll in their employer's plan.
"Young adults will find premiums that they previously thought were too high are, in fact, much lower,"
While purchasing insurance coverage from the Missouri Health Insurance Exchange can be done on your own, support is available.
There are four tiers of health plans: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Each pays a certain percentage of medical expenses. It's a la carte to some degree, and most plans can be customized.
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