Poll: Many Americans Don't Know about Health Care Enrollment Deadline

Updated: 03/26/2014 7:16 AM
Created: 03/26/2014 7:08 AM
By: Jennie Olson

We’re just five days away from the Affordable Care Act’s March 31 health insurance deadline. Uninsured Americans have been told they need to be signed up for a health insurance plan by then or face a fine, but were they listening?

According to a new Kaiser Health Tracking Poll out overnight, a lot of people simply don’t know about the deadline. The study, which questioned uninsured Americans, revealed that six out of every 10 people didn’t know about the March 31 enrollment deadline under the Affordable Care Act, despite a big marketing effort by the Obama administration.

After they were notified of the deadline and fines associated with not enrolling in a health care plan, half of those polled said they plan to remain uninsured.

The fines during this first year are $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, but next year those numbers jump to $325 and $162.50, respectively. By 2016, being uninsured will become even more expensive, with fines of $695 per adult and $347.50 per child.

But those having trouble signing up for health insurance will get more time. This week, MNsure announced that it’s extending the March 31 deadline to those who have filled out an application but can’t get it processed. Those living in Wisconsin and Iowa will also get an extension.

The White House announced Tuesday that anyone who has applied for health insurance on the federal exchange but is having trouble getting enrolled will have until mid-April to get coverage.

Guides work the phones Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, in St. Paul, Minn. for shoppers scrambling to finalize health coverage before the new year at Minnesota's insurance marketplace.
Photo: AP/Jim Mone, File

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