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Government grants short extension to enroll for health insurance

The federal government has granted a short extension to its deadline to enroll in health insurance in order for the plan to take effect Jan. 1, 2016.

Consumers now have until the end of Thursday, Dec. 17, to enroll in health care coverage made possible through the Affordable Care Act.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced its decision to extend the deadline Tuesday, Dec. 15, due to “unprecedented” demand on the web portal and in its call center.

Michigan residents must enroll using the Health Insurance Marketplace at healthcare.gov in order to be covered by a plan on Jan. 1, 2016.

Dec. 17 is the first open enrollment deadline.

Consumers technically have until Jan. 31, 2016, to enroll in a plan for 2016.

U.S. residents could face fines on their taxes should they not be covered by health insurance.

Individuals without insurance come tax time could face a fine of $695 or 2.5 percent of their annual income — whichever is greater.

People seeking insurance may find that they’re eligible for financial assistance from the government, a provision of the ACA.

Of the 279,000 Michigan residents who were enrolled in health insurance plans as of June 2015, 78 percent of them received financial assistance with their monthly payments, according to Get Covered America. Get Covered America is an independent campaign started in 2013 with the goal of enrolling as many people in health insurance plans as possible under the ACA.

Full article by Staff Report, Holland Sentinel

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Roger Chu is a Marketing Coordinator at GSAmart, the leading GSA sales and marketing partner for technology companies.

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