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Despite Deadline for Health Insurance Exchange Enrollment, Some Will Still Opt to Pay Penalty

December 23rd, 2013 | WMFE - December 23rd is deadline day for those people enrolling in the online health insurance exchanges to have coverage available on January first. Health and Human services says 1.9 million people have made it through the application and eligibility part of the process, but haven't yet selected a plan. There's a chance some of those people will decide to opt out.

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The deadline for that January 1st coverage is midnight December 23rd. The online exchanges saw a boost in enrollment after’s major technical glitches were corrected- and the first enrollment deadline should bring another boost. But the website fixes have been followed by reports of higher than expected premiums and deductibles for some.

Lynn Unruh is a professor in the Health Informatics Department at the University of Central Florida. She says those costs could affect enrollment.

“I think we might see a lot more people opting to pay the penalty because it’s such a hassle to do the insurance, it’s very costly and they may just take the penalty,” she says.

Those who enroll by midnight December 23rd have to make sure they’ve also paid their first month’s premium by December 31st to have coverage on the first, however- insurance companies have the option to extend that payment deadline and still provide January 1st coverage. Open enrollment continues through March 31st


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