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California Still Leads the Way During Special Enrollment

33,000 have enrolled during the special enrollment period.Following the creation of a special enrollment period for individuals unaware of the tax penalties for being uninsured, over 33,000 people have signed up for healthcare via Covered California.

At the end of the 2015 tax-filing season, many people learned that they would have to pay tax penalties for not having health insurance. Because the 2015 open enrollment period had already ended, a special enrollment period was created from February 23rd to April 30th. Although enrolling during this period will exempt individuals from 2015 tax penalties, they will be able to avoid receiving the harsher penalties that go into effect in 2016 ($650 or 2.5% of income, whichever is higher).

Open enrollment seems to have worked especially well in California, whose volume of special enrollees is 10 times higher than that of states under the Federal Health Exchange, which has created a similar special enrollment period. On average, each of the 36 states using the Federal Exchange had enrolled less than 2,000 each as of April 13th.

Even during the late special enrollment period, California continues to lead the nation in extending coverage to the uninsured.

If you haven’t yet signed up for coverage under Covered California, tomorrow is the last day of the open enrollment period. Except in certain cases, the next chance to get coverage will be November 15th, 2015, when the next open enrollment period begins. You can enroll here or find a Certified Enrollment Counselor who can assist you here.

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