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'Obamacare' advocates pushing enrollment ahead of deadline

 
'Obamacare' advocates pushing enrollment ahead of deadline
Posted March 18th, 2014 @ 11:06pm by WTVN Newsroom

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- The deadline to enroll for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is the end of the month. Anyone who doesn't have coverage by then will have to pay a penalty.

Advocates for the plan are criss-crossing the state trying to make sure everyone can get signed up in time. The effort seems to be aimed mostly at college students. They were the targets during a three-city bus tour featuring Sen. Sherrod Brown.

"I think young people are the most likely to wait until the last minute to sign up," he said.

For any insurance program to work it has to have a lot of young healthy people paying into it to help offset the high cost of older customers who are more likely to fall ill and need coverage to pay for services.

"Already a minimum 140,000 Ohioans, as of last week, have insurance today that did not have insurance three months ago," he said.

Brown said he wasn't aware of any goals, so he didn't know if those numbers were exceeding or below expectations.

Bill Wood is one of those older customers. After more than 25 years with one company he was let go during the recession. He began shopping for insurance on his own and found a plan to fit his family's needs. It was a plan he kept for six years.

"In that time our insurance rates, our premiums, have gone up 81 percent. Our deductible has gone up 67 percent," he said.

Wood, who started up his own communications company, was able to find 26 different plans that would cover both him and his wife. He picked one that ended up saving him thousands of dollars a year.

"The affordable part of the care act has been very true for us," he said.

Advocates claim there are some plans that can cost no more than $100 a month and even some for less than $50 per month.

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