Deadline For Healthcare Enrollment, Subsidies Near - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Deadline For Healthcare Enrollment, Subsidies Near

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SALISBURY, Md. - We're three weeks away from the national deadline to enroll in healthcare, and people across the country are racing to sign up.

"The response has been increasing steadily," said Katherine Gunby, Program Coordinator for the Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program. "March so far, has proven to be our busiest time."

It's time that's is running out for the people looking to enroll in health care, like those who come to the Lower Shore for help. The program has been working over the last few months reaching out to the community through enrollment events to help meet the March 31 deadline.
     
Since February first, more than 3 million people across the country have signed up through state markets and the federal site. That brings the number of people without health insurance down from 17.1 percent in 2013, to 15.9 percent this year. That trend could lead to the lowest numbers since 2008.

In the three counties the Lower Shore program serves - Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset - there were 23,000 people uninsured. It's a staggering number, but through the Affordable Healthcare Act, 86 percent qualify for Medicaid or insurance subsidies. But the subsides won't be offered after March 31.

If you want coverage starting April 1, you must enroll by Saturday, March 15 in Delaware and Virginia, and Tuesday, March 18 in Maryland. Between those dates and March 31, coverage will be effective May 1. After the March deadline, the next open enrollment period is November 15. You can enroll at any time if you qualify for Medicaid.

And if you don't enroll in an insurance plan, you'll face a fine up to $95 dollars.

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