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Health and Medicine


Obamacare's first big dealine looms, and Ohio's still running behind
But healthcare.gov is functioning much better
Story by LEWIS WALLACE


 
In The Region:

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

LISTEN: ACA's first big deadline

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As of last month, Maxine Johnson had tried six times to sign up for Obamacare with no luck. Apparently the 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 enrolled in the nick of time for a plan that will cost her about $50 a month.

But she says she knows people who’ve just given up.

“I kept running across several people that said they got on, and this didn’t go right, this isn’t right; they’re just gonna take the penalty when they do their taxes.

In the first two months of the new insurance marketplace, about 5,700 Ohioans got plans. That’s out of about 1.3 million people 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. 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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