The process for purchasing individual health insurance (rather than through an employer or a government program such as Medicare) has been radically changed by the Affordable Care Act of 2010, which requires Americans to buy minimum essential health insurance coverage or pay an annual penalty to the IRS.
However, the online enrollment process that began Oct. 1, 2013, has been plagued by technical problems. CostHelper attempted to obtain typical pricing information through HealthCare.gov , but we were repeatedly unsuccessful.
The deadline to obtain coverage without penalty was originally Feb. 15, 2014, but it has already been extended to March 31, 2014 because of these technical problems. CostHelper will continue to monitor the situation, and we will report typical costs when they are available
Note that no immediate changes are required for seniors and the disabled covered through Medicare(a public health insurance plan with some private options).
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