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ACA Enrollment In Arizona Trending Higher

The rate of signups for health insurance on Arizona’s Affordable Care Act marketplace is up from last year.

Enrollment for healthcare.gov plans are running 26 percent ahead of last year at the same time. Federal numbers show about 51,000 people have selected insurance coverage so far in the state.

Allen Gjersvig, whose nonprofit helps people buy coverage, said it’s hard to predict if more people will ultimately sign up than last year given that the window of time has been cut down to 45 days.

Those who had plans this year will be automatically re-enrolled and Gjersvig said that could bump up the final figures significantly.

“There could be a very large percent of people who choose to just auto enroll and that’s kind of like the X factor,” he said.

A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that nationally more than half of those who are uninsured and eligible could pay less overall in premiums than if they went without insurance and paid the penalty.

Will Stone grew up with the sounds of public radio. As a senior field correspondent, he strives to tell the same kind of powerful stories that got him into the business — whether that means trudging through some distant corner of the Sonoran Desert or uncovering an unknown injustice right down the street. Since joining the KJZZ newsroom in 2015, he has covered political scandals, fights over the future of energy, and efforts to care for some of Arizona’s most vulnerable communities. His pieces have also aired on national programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now and Marketplace. Before coming to KJZZ, he reported for public radio stations in Nevada and Connecticut. Stone received his degree in English literature from Haverford College, where he also wrote about the arts and culture scene in Philadelphia. After graduating, he interned at NPR West in Culver City, California, where he learned from some of the network’s veteran reporters and editors. When he doesn’t have a mic in hand, Stone enjoys climbing mountains, running through his central Phoenix neighborhood and shamelessly promoting his cat, Barry.