HSRI reports more, younger Affordable Care Act enrollees

PROVIDENCE — HealthSource RI, the state-based Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange, reports more than three times the number of new enrollees since this time last year at 3,500, with a growing number of young people joining the ranks.

Last year at this point, there were only 1,000 new enrollees, said Kyrie Perry, director of communications, marketing and outreach for HSRI.

The current tally of enrollees, 29,000, is five percent more than last year, at the same time, Perry said.

Should that keep up through the end of the enrollment period on Dec. 31 (renewing customers have until Dec. 23 to avoid an insurance gap), Perry said, the state stands to improve its 96 percent rate of people with health insurance.

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But the number of young people signing up, those in the 18-34 age group, often referred to as “young invincibles,” is also growing, which is promising for insurers and, ultimately, insurance rates in Rhode Island, Perry said.

Twenty-five percent of renewing customers fall in the 18-34 age group. But 34 percent of new HSRI customers are aged 18-34.  The development is promising for health insurer’s bottom line, and the health insurance rates of customers.

“Typically, the young and healthy people make a better risk pool,” Perry said.

Perry said the Affordable Care Act has never been more popular, and political moves to rescind the law have generated higher than usual awareness of the law and its benefits.

“We hope to see this trend continue,” she said.

Rob Borkowski is a PBN staff writer. Email him at Borkowski@PBN.com.