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The uninsured are unaware of Obamacare deadline

A new poll shows only 1 in 4 uninsured know that March 31 is the deadline to sign up for individual health insurance.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 11, 2014 12:07PM

This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.


Time is running out for uninsured Americans to sign up for health coverage or face a penalty for not having insurance. March 31 is the last day to sign up under the federal Affordable Care Act.


Pills with computer © Tom Grill, Getty ImagesUnfortunately, the very people the law is intended to help are seemingly the most oblivious about Obamacare and its impending deadline. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll found the following about the uninsured:

  • About 50 percent said they still don't understand how the ACA will impact their families.
  • When it comes to the health insurance marketplaces, 37 percent say they know very little or nothing at all about them.
  • Only 24 percent are aware of the March 31 deadline.
  • 5 percent thought the deadline had already passed.
  • 2 percent of the uninsured polled didn't know there was a set deadline to sign up for coverage.

If you want insurance coverage that starts on April 1, The Associated Press said it's important to submit an application by March 15. Applications submitted later in the month will likely have a coverage start date in May.


After March 31, you will be unable to enroll in an individual health insurance plan unless you experience a life change, like a new job or adding a new family member. Purchasing individual health insurance through a state or federal online marketplace is the only way to become eligible for a federal subsidy to help people afford the premiums.


Missing the March 31 open enrollment deadline will impact your pocketbook. You will face a tax penalty of $95 or 1 percent of your taxable annual income, whichever is greater.


"The penalty is pro-rated if people have coverage for part of the year, and they won't be liable if they lack coverage for less than a three-month period during the year," CNN Money says.


In other Obamacare-related news, the uninsured rate is on track to drop to its lowest level since 2008, before President Obama took office.


About 15.9 percent of Americans are now uninsured, compared with 17.1 percent at the end of 2013. That's the latest from a new Gallup poll, which found that the uninsured rate has dropped for nearly every major demographic group in 2014, except those 65 and older (who are eligible for Medicare).


African-Americans and low-income adults have experienced the most significant drop, with a 2 percent decline. Hispanics are the least likely to have health insurance, with a 37.9 percent uninsured rate.

More on Money Talks News:

3Comments
Mar 11, 2014 4:56PM
avatar

"The uninsured are unaware of Obamacare deadline"

No. Probably more like they don't give a s**t, and don't appreciate being FORCED to enroll in and waste what little money they do have on a bulls**t health care plan that they are (re-stated) being FORCED to participate in and, in truth, won't help them in the least.

Mar 11, 2014 1:11PM
Mar 12, 2014 10:23AM
avatar
From the article:
"After March 31, you will be unable to enroll in an individual health insurance plan unless you experience a life change, like a new job or adding a new family member."

Yeah, right.  All it will take is for President Obama to summarily declare that we are extending that deadline (i.e., ignoring that part of the law).   After all, this approach has worked for him with four or five other provisions of the PPACA that just didn't work out right or were politically unpopular.

And Congress just looks the other way, abdicating their Constitutional duty and responsibility.
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