The deadline to enroll in a health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act is upon us. Unfortunately, it appears that the majority of the uninsured are not aware of Monday’s deadline.
A new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 6 in 10 uninsured don’t know about the March 31 deadline to sign up for coverage. And Kaiser said what’s even more shocking is this:
When reminded of the deadline and the fine for not getting covered, half of those who lack coverage as of mid-March say they plan to remain uninsured.
So despite the online health insurance exchanges and potential subsidies to reduce the cost of insurance premiums, half of the uninsured said they plan to stay uninsured, 4 in 10 say they plan on signing up for coverage by Monday, and 1 in 10 say they’re unsure.
Even as the Obama administration ramped up its PR push for Obamacare in recent weeks, Kaiser said many uninsured are still oblivious about the law and how it could benefit them.
Large shares of the uninsured remain unaware of two of the law’s key provisions that could help them get coverage. About half the uninsured are unaware that the ACA gives states the option of expanding their Medicaid programs, and more than 4 in 10 don’t know that it provides financial help to low- and moderate-income individuals to help them purchase coverage.
If you are still uninsured, Monday is D-Day to sign up for individual health insurance — or at least start the process. Those who begin an application on HealthCare.gov on Monday but can’t finish for a variety of reasons will be given an extension until mid-April to complete the process. Some state exchanges are also granting similar extensions.
If you don’t obtain health insurance, you may be subject to federal fines, and you’ll be unable to purchase an individual policy until Nov. 15. Only people who experience a life-changing event, like a job loss, marriage or addition of a new family member, will be able to purchase individual insurance before then once the current open-enrollment period is over.
We recently provided you with a list of what you should know about Obamacare’s March 31 deadline. The list includes penalties and exemptions. Please help spread the word. It would be a shame if someone who wants insurance didn’t sign up because that person was lacking the necessary information.
Are you uninsured? Do you plan on applying for health insurance by the March 31 deadline? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.