Three days remain to sign up for health insurances or face penalties
Just days remain in the open enrollment period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
On Thursday, the White House announced more than six million Americans had signed up, passing the Obama administration’s revised enrollment goal days ahead of Monday’s deadline. Now, the White House is hoping the weekend will bring with it another surge in sign ups.
Thursday’s news adds to the positive news this week for the Obama administration. On Wednesday, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll showed many Americans might be beginning to accept the new program. However, with just days before the deadline, experts still point to the group most important for the entire program’s success: young adults, many of who still aren’t buying in.
“I haven't heard much about it,” said 19-year-old Tan-tinisha Ray, who is currently covered under her parents’ plan. “I've just heard things will happen if you don't sign up for it or something like that.”
“If you don't sign up, there will be a penalty on your taxes or something like that,” said 21-year-old Tyler Davis, who is currently uninsured.
While many have at least learned the basics of what will happen if they don’t sign up for insurance per the Affordable Care Act, the Kaiser Family poll released just this week shows nearly 40 percent of Americans still have no idea.
“I really haven't been paying attention,” said Jake Herrington, who’s also insured under his parents’ plan.
“They're young, healthy, the young invincible as we call them, and they don't find that it's necessary,” said Kimberly Braly of Threlkeld & Co. Insurance.
Those who do not enroll will have one percent of their income taken as a penalty when they go to file their taxes. But even that is still not enough to force many to enroll.
“The initial penalty is cheaper than buying health insurance,” Herrington said. “I would just take the penalty.”
“It's not really a big penalty to me,” Davis said. “It's not really a big deal to me. It's like I'll get it when I get it. It's not like I have any pre-existing conditions or anything so I'm not really worried about it.”
“That is not a big enough hit for most people to even realize,” said Braly. “Until there is a care consequence, meaning I'm sorry you can't be treated because you didn't purchase insurance, I don't think there's going to be a lot of ramifications for it.”
Monday, March 31 is the final day to enroll in a plan if you are uninsured.