Rhode Island’s online health insurance exchange has nearly doubled enrollment numbers since January. The news comes as the deadline for individuals to get covered is less than two weeks away.
More than 16,000 Rhode Islanders have enrolled in health insurance plans on HealthSource RI as of this past weekend. That’s up from 9800 at the beginning of January. HealthSource RI says most enrollees have qualified for some kind of help paying for those plans – a reduced monthly premium and assistance with co-pays and deductibles.
Almost 36,000 additional Rhode Islanders have enrolled in a state-paid Medicaid plan.
But time is running out – at least for this year. Affordable Care Act rules say most Americans have to have insurance by March 31st in order to avoid a tax penalty. For coverage that begins March 1st, individuals have to enroll and pay up by February 23rd.
Most larger businesses will eventually have to offer their employees insurance too. But like other features of the health care law, the deadline for businesses with 50 or more employees to offer coverage has been pushed back to 2016.