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Enroll by Dec. 23 for health coverage to begin on Jan. 1!

Consumers who intend to buy individual health insurance coverage (i.e., coverage not through an employer) have until Dec. 23 to sign up for coverage that takes effect on Jan. 1.  This extension was made in response to technical problems experienced by those initially using the website, which is also known as the Marketplace.  This deadline also applies to businesses obtaining coverage effective Jan. 1 through the federal SHOP Marketplace.  Dec. 15 was the original deadline for coverage beginning Jan. 1.

In order to be enrolled in a health plan, the first month’s premium must be paid on time.  The deadline to submit the first month’s premium payment for coverage beginning Jan. 1 was recently extended to Jan. 10. For more information on this extension, click here. Always be sure to check with your prospective insurance companies about your payment due date.

For several reasons, you may wish to work with an agent or broker in order to find a plan that works for you, your family, and/or your business.  For tips on how to find a trustworthy, and qualified, agent or broker, click here.

Although Dec. 23 is the deadline to sign up for coverage which will begin on Jan. 1, Individual and SHOP Marketplace open enrollment will extend through Mar. 31, 2014.  Those who enroll by this date will not incur Individual Mandate penalties.

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For the latest health care reform news and information, or to ask a question, visit