Only 13 days left to get health insurance in 2014

Consumer Reports

If you’re uninsured, you’re running out of time to get health coverage in 2014. Open enrollment ends on March 31, after which you won’t be able to buy insurance again until open enrollment resumes on November 15, and your coverage won’t begin until Jan. 1, 2015, at the earliest. If you act now, however, your coverage will begin May 1.

With its major computer glitches long past, HealthCare.gov is working well for practically everyone who visits, and so are most state-run marketplaces (with a few unhappy exceptions such as Maryland, Massachusetts, and Oregon). A surge of late enrollments has brought the total number of Americans purchasing health plans for themselves on the new marketplaces to more than 5 million as of March 17.

You may be reluctant to enroll because you’ve heard "Obamacare horror stories" from your friends or seen them on attack ads. But you may not have heard about the new law’s many success stories, such as these.

  • Richie from North Carolina and his wife, who lost insurance when they got laid off from their jobs, have a new Silver plan that costs them only $43 a month after premium subsidies.
  • Eric from Washington was able to trade in a short-term plan that would have excluded any new conditions for a high-quality $500-a-month Bronze plan that will cover all his medical needs.
  • A new college grad, Richard, from California found that he was eligible for free coverage from Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program.
  • Kate from Colorado, whose several part-time jobs don’t come with health insurance, got a Silver plan that costs her $50 a month after subsidies.

You can write your own success story, but only if you get cracking. (And if you have a story to tell, you can share it here.) If you’re not sure where to start, our free interactive tool, HealthLawHelper, will point you in the right direction.

Got a question for our health insurance expert? Ask it here; be sure to include the state you live in. And if you can't get enough health insurance news here, follow me on Twitter @NancyMetcalf.

—Nancy Metcalf

We're providing regular coverage of the new health care law. To get health insurance advice tailored to your situation, use our Health Law Helper, below.



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