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One Obamacare Deadline Down, But Ohio Numbers Still Come Up Short

Monday, December 23, 2013 at 9:15 AM

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Healthcare.gov

Today is the last day to sign up for Affordable Care Act insurance if you want it to kick in Jan. 1. From Ohio Public Radio member station WYSO, Lewis Wallace reports healthcare.gov has gotten much easier to use -- but Ohio’s still far short of its enrollment goals.

When I talked to Maxine Johnson last month, she had tried six times to sign up for Obamacare. Apparently seventh time’s a charm.

“After being on being knocked off and the computer going down several times, I finally can say that, yay! I made it,” she said.

She enrolled in the nick of time for a plan that will cost her around $50 a month. But she says she knows people who’ve just given up.

“I kept running across several people (who) said they got on, and this didn’t go right, this isn’t right, they’re just going to take the penalty when they do their taxes,” she said.

In the first two months of the new insurance marketplace, just around 5,700 Ohioans got plans. That’s out of about 1.3 million who are uninsured and eligible.

But Scott Streator with the insurance group CareSource says the website fixes are huge.

“CareSource has been ecstatic with our growth of the last two weeks alone,” Streator said. “We’ve had 160 percent growth.”

CareSource is now enrolling hundreds of people a day.

And today’s deadline is not the last, by a long shot. The real end game is March 31. That’s the final day to sign up through the Marketplace in 2014 and avoid a tax penalty.

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