Health insurance signup deadline looms

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – There are just two weeks left to sign up for health insurance through the federal health insurance marketplace, and thousands of New Mexicans need to get on board, or risk being penalized.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured have until March 31 to pick their health plan. There are more than 40 different health plans available through New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange. To sign up, people must go online.

KRQE News 13 spoke with Deborah Hammer of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange, who says those looking for insurance should spend the next two weeks exploring health plan options.

One of the biggest concerns people have is being able to afford health care. The good news is that some people will qualify for a discount based on their income.

“Under the new law, you cannot be denied for a pre-existing condition and you do get the subsidies as well if you’re eligible. So it’s a really great program for people who haven’t had insurance in the past or paid really high premiums, too,” said Hammer.

New Mexico is the second most uninsured state in the country, Hammer said. In total, 430,000 people are uninsured.

Hammer says the most recent data show 15,000 New Mexicans have signed up for health care under the Affordable Care Act, but there are a lot of people left in the state who still need health insurance.

Those who don’t sign up for health insurance this month will have one percent of their household income taken off their tax deduction.

After the deadline passes, the next time to sign up for health insurance will be in fall 2015.

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