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Today is (Basically) the Last Day to Sign Up for Health Care in the Federal Marketplace

by: Emily Cadik

Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 00:20 PM CST

Read All "12 Days ofEnrollmas" posts here.

Today is officially the last day to choose health insurance plans on HealthCare.gov in order to have your coverage kick in on January 1. According to some reports the deadline has unofficially been extended to midnight on Christmas Eve, but why wait?

Open enrollment through the federal marketplace doesn't end until March 31, 2014, but would of course lead to a later start for insurance. And who wants to spend the first three months of 2014 uninsured? Also if you're not enrolled by March 31, you'll have to pay a penalty - which means you're still paying money but getting zero health care benefits.

There are some important exceptions to the deadlines. Recognizing the troubled started of the federal health insurance exchange, there's now a "hardship" exemption for people who have made "good faith" efforts to enroll by today's deadline but failed to do so.  It also applies to people whose old insurance plans were canceled because of standards under the new law who haven't been able to purchase new insurance yet. Plus the deadline has already been pushed back over a week from the original deadline of December 15.

There's more after the jump.

In a handy one-page guide to the health insurance marketplace, you can learn about what types of plans you can qualify for, what kind of fees will apply if you don't obtain coverage and how to apply. And don't worry - the application process is much improved. Despite its notorious roll-out, HealthCare.gov's error rate is down to .45 percent and the response time is on average less than 400 milliseconds.

As a result, over 1 million people nationwide have enrolled so far. The enrollment rate still falls short of the Administration's goal of 3.3 million, but is a major improvement over the 365,000 at the end of November.

As of the end of November, 244,695 Texans had applied for health insurance through the federal exchange. But Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the nation, with close to 6 million people lacking health care coverage. There are millions more who can and should enroll. Today is an important day to close that gap and start 2014 heading in the right direction.  

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wow (0.00 / 0)
another day, another unconstitutional change to the enforcement of the LAW solely by the executive branch of the government. can't wait to see what edit they'll see fit for the ACA tomorrow.  

whats the net? (0.00 / 0)
Of the one million that have signed up (BTW that counts those that haven't paid yet) how many have lost insurance due to ACA. Could this end up increasing the insured?

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