Fueled by a last-minute surge in enrollments, 6 million Americans have secured health insurance benefits through the federal and state exchanges, according to new numbers released by the White House.
President Barack Obama, during his overseas visit to Europe for the G8 convention, announced that 6 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance through the marketplaces implemented by the federal government and state legislatures. This puts the total sign-ups approximately 1 million enrollees short of what the administration aimed for in October when the exchanges were rolled out.
Individuals without insurance have until midnight on March 31 to secure a health plan. However, as The Washington Post recently reported, individuals who have signed up for coverage but have not completed the process will be given two extra weeks to sign up without having to pay a penalty.
It remains unclear how aggressively the $95 penalty will be enforced, however, according to The New York Times. Additionally, the amount charged, if any, largely depends on what individuals’ financial circumstances are. For instance, among uninsured adults earning a gross income of $10,150 per year or less, they may be able to avoid the fine entirely.