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Shoppers have until midnight to sign up for healthcare

Updated: 12/23/2013 5:20 PM | Created: 12/23/2013 2:41 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

If you’re still in the process of signing up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the government is giving you a grace period. You have until Tuesday night to completely sign up for coverage to start on January 1. If you haven’t even started – get going. If you don’t start the process by midnight, you won’t be covered on the first.

The New Mexico Healthcare Insurance Exchange launched multiple advertising and outreach campaigns to get New Mexicans signed up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. By December 1st, only 1,000 households signed up. The state’s exchange is hoping this month’s numbers are higher. They’ve posted a tool on www.bewellnm.com to make it easy to understand.

“We built a premium plan comparison tool so you can go on, play with the plans, compare them, see what's in your price range, what kind of deductible you might have across all the plans we offer,” Debra Hammer of the New Mexico Healthcare Insurance Exchange said.

After you do your research, sign up on the federal website www.healthcare.gov. Experts say after you do that, you should call the carrier you chose and make sure you’re squared away.

“Have your ID number that you set up through healthcare.gov, call your carrier, make sure they've gotten all your enrollment information, and verify the best way they want payment so you can ensure you have coverage on the date that you expect,” Hammer said.

If you don’t sign up by the deadline, you have until the end of March before penalties kick in. The penalty is $95 or one percent of household income, whichever is more, at tax time. If you sign up during that January to March window your coverage will start one month from when you register.


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