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Health insurance exchanges make final enrollment push

Health Care Reform and Policy
by Tom Handley
Health insurers say exchange participation too costly for them
Health insurers say exchange participation too costly for them

Across the country, it seems that many Americans who do not have health insurance are still unaware that they will have to have some amount of coverage before the end of March if they want to avoid a federal fine. As such, the people associated with the exchanges through which many such consumers will be eligible to buy their coverage are now beginning one last effort to get people signed up in time.

The deadline for enrolling in health insurance before facing a fine for every member of a family going without coverage is March 31, and as such the navigators and other professionals associated with getting people signed up for either state or federal health insurance exchanges are packing the month full of events designed to increase public awareness of the potential issue they face, according to a report from the Delaware News Journal. This includes meetings in libraries, community centers, businesses, and even colleges.

Fortunately for those involved in the sign-up process, they seem to be fairly busy in terms of helping people who actually want to sign up, the report said. That, of course, stands as a stark contrast with the realities in late 2013 and even earlier this year, when problems - both technical and related to public perception of the exchanges - plagued the marketplaces and people were enrolling in a trickle. However, now that these issues have largely been smoothed over, millions have flocked to them, and most experts believe that this trend will continue for the remainder of March.

Who's being targeted most?
Of course, when it comes to the kinds of people that professionals are trying so hard to sign up ahead of the deadline, much of the focus is being placed upon younger, healthier people between the ages of 18 and 34, the report said. Adults in this demographic - often referred to as Young Invincibles - usually feel as though they don't necessarily need to sign up for health insurance simply because they don't think they need a lot of care.

While that may be true, their participation in the exchanges is seen as vital to the success of these marketplaces, because they will help to keep costs down for older people who generally have far more significant medical needs and would therefore had to pay for more expensive insurance coverage under the old system. 



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