Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services released its latest enrollment figures showing that 95,664 people are signed up for 2017 Marketplace coverage in Kansas, more than at the same time last year.

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services released its latest enrollment figures showing that 95,664 people are signed up for 2017 Marketplace coverage in Kansas, more than at the same time last year. HHS then released a new report with detailed demographic, financial, and geographic data on Kansas consumers signed up for coverage as of Dec. 24, 2016.

The new report also finds that more than 11.5 million people nationwide were signed up for Health Insurance Marketplace coverage as of Dec. 24, an increase of 286,000 plan selections relative to the comparable period last year. the report shows that a broad cross-section of Kansans rely on the Marketplace to access affordable, quality coverage. Kansas Marketplace consumers signed up through Dec. 24 include:

51,847 female and 44,013 male Kansans 10,362 children, 27,345 adults age 18-34, 31,116 adults age 35-54, and 27,037 older Kansans 33,140 rural Kansans 23,377 new and 72,483 returning consumers

“With more than 11.5 million people signed up nationwide, demand for health coverage is higher than ever, and Kansans are proving once again that Marketplace coverage is vital to them and their families,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “For Kansans who have not yet signed up, it’s not too late. Open enrollment continues through Jan. 31, but you should visit HealthCare.gov by this Sunday to ensure your coverage starts Feb. 1. Most HealthCare.gov consumers can find a plan for less than $75 per month in premiums, and millions are finding plans that meet their and their families’ needs.”

The report underscores the importance of financial assistance for Kansas consumers. About 82 percent of Kansans signed up for Marketplace coverage through Dec. 24 will receive advanced premium tax credits that lower their premiums by an average of $309 per month. On an annual basis, that works out to tax credits of $3,702 per year for up to 77,950 Kansans.

The report also shows that Kansas Marketplace consumers are actively engaged with their coverage. About 50,690 Kansas consumers, 70 percent of all returning consumers in Kansas through Dec. 24, came back to the Marketplace and actively selected a plan for 2017.

Open Enrollment continues through Jan. 31. Last year, enrollment slowed in the middle of January but spiked in the days before the final deadline. Plan selection totals will also fluctuate over the remainder of Open Enrollment as some consumers choose to cancel their plans — for example, in response to life changes like starting a new job with employer coverage or gaining eligibility for Medicare or Medicaid.

Consumers have until Jan. 15 to sign up for coverage that starts Feb. 1. With millions of Kansans still in need of affordable, quality health insurance for 2017, HHS will continue its outreach to make sure uninsured Americans know about the coverage and financial assistance available to them. Through the rest of this month, HHS will also be running additional TV and radio advertising, sending targeted emails to consumers, and continuing our innovative partnerships with sites like Twitch, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. And new this year, the IRS will send direct mail to people who went without health insurance in 2015, encouraging them to get covered instead of paying the penalty and letting them know that financial help is available.

An estimated 69 percent of Kansans can find plans for less than $75 per month, and the large majority of Marketplace consumers nationwide are satisfied with their coverage and report that it offers them financial security and access to care. Consumers should visit HealthCare.gov, CuidadodeSalud.gov, or call 1-800-318-2596 to review their coverage options, learn about what financial assistance is available, or to sign up or re-enroll in a plan that best meets their needs.

Five facts about Open Enrollment in Kansas:

1. Since Open Enrollment began on Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, 95,664 Kansas consumers have selected a plan using the HealthCare.gov platform.

2. Coverage could be more affordable than you think. About 69 percent of Kansas Marketplace enrollees can find plans with a premium for less than $75 per month. Nationwide, about 8 out of 10 people who enroll in health coverage through HealthCare.gov qualify for financial help to make their monthly premiums more affordable.

3. Shopping for a better deal could save you money. For 2017, HealthCare.gov consumers in Kansas could save an average of $183 annually in premiums for a plan in the same level of coverage by returning to shop. If you had coverage through HealthCare.gov for 2016, you should come back to update your information and compare your options for 2017.

4. It’s easier than ever to find a plan that meets your needs and budget. This year, when consumers come to HealthCare.gov, shoppers will find a streamlined, user-friendly process. Comparing plans online or on mobile will be an intuitive, step-by-step process to click or swipe through. Simple, easy-to-understand presentation of plan features like cost-sharing and provider networks will help consumers find what works for them.

5. Help is available. Free, confidential help can be found in person or by phone.

Call 1-800-318-2596 for confidential assistance 24/7, in English or Spanish. Visit www.HealthCare.gov and www.CuidadoDeSalud.gov.

Free in-person help is also available in the community. Visit https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/ to find a listing of enrollment centers and events in Kansas.