- Only 36,000 people have signed up for exchange coverage during the special enrollment period as of March 29, the Obama administration announced Wednesday. The extra period closes April 30.
- The extended period is intended to give consumers who didn't realize when filing their taxes that there is a penalty for lacking insurance.
- The 36,000 figure does not include individuals from the 11 states that run their own exchanges and have their own special extended periods.
The administration has not provided its own estimate on sign-ups, but enrollment expert Charles Gaba had estimated 220,000 would have signed up by March 29. Although not everyone is eligible for enrollment during this period and, as Gaba notes, enrollment "may start to surge as April 15th approaches, just as the Open Enrollment numbers spiked as that deadline approached," this is still a remarkably small figure—an average of just 1,000 sign-ups per state.
A March McKinsey study found that 40% of the uninsured did not know that they would face a penalty for lacking insurance.
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