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Many Wisconsinites not enrolled in Affordable Care Act

Kyle Finstad , News Writer
April 8, 2014
Filed under News

March 31 marked the deadline to sign up under the Affordable Care Act. In Wisconsin, thousands of residents remain uninsured, according to FOX-11 News.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, since enrollment under the Affordable Care Act became available, close to 71,500 people have signed up through HealthCare.gov.

Anyone who chooses to remain uninsured will be fined. The fee set for 2014 is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child or 1 percent of an individual’s taxable income. It depends on which is greater. By 2016 the fine is supposed to increase to up to $695 per person or 2.5 percent of income.

Despite the fine, Wisconsin has about 500,000 uninsured residents, according to FOX-11 News.

UW-Green Bay political science assistant professor David Helpap said enrollment for the new federally subsidized health care plan has not been unanimous for a number of reasons.

“There are people who have their own insurance,” said Helpap. “There are also those who just don’t agree with it from an ideological perspective.”

Helpap said it takes effort to enroll which may have prevented large numbers of people from signing up.

He said the website also was making the process difficult at times, especially with a large number rushing to sign up for coverage before the deadline.

Despite at times being temporarily unavailable to sign up for health insurance, more than 7 million Americans enrolled.

Those who enroll pay from 3 to 9 percent of their income to receive coverage. According to data collected by the Department of Health and Human Services, Americans will pay an average monthly premium of $328.

Some of these people who haven’t signed up are college students.

Scott Klapperich, senior theatre major, said he didn’t sign up under the Affordable Care Act.

“I just do not need it yet,” Klapperich said. “I am still covered under my parents insurance.”

Under Obamacare, many young Americans, like Klapperich, are able to remain on their parent’s health insurance plans until they turn 26 years old. The act also prevents denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

Klapperich said he was not sure if he plans to sign up for Obamacare when he turns 26.

“That’s a long ways off and I have plenty of time to figure out my options between then and now,” said Klapperich. “I’ll just let future Scott deal with this.”

Enrollment under the Affordable Care Act is still possible, but coverage will not take effect until next year.

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