The Uninsured Are Unaware of Obamacare Deadline

Photo (cc) by hang_in_there

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.

Unfortunately, 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.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
10 Products That Will Help You Save Money
10 Products That Will Help You Save Money

Sometimes, spending a little cash right now can save you a lot of money down the road.

My Favorite Amazon Purchases From 22 Years of Shopping There
My Favorite Amazon Purchases From 22 Years of Shopping There

Yes, I’ve been shopping on Amazon since the 1990s. These are among my most beloved buys.

9 Free Things That Used to Cost Us Money
9 Free Things That Used to Cost Us Money

Not everything is getting more expensive.

7 Reasons You Should Not Claim Social Security Early
7 Reasons You Should Not Claim Social Security Early

The sooner you claim your Social Security retirement benefits, the more you — and perhaps also your spouse — stand to lose. Here are the stakes.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.