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Wednesday Is Deadline for Feb. 1 Coverage Under ACA

TUESDAY, Jan. 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There's still time to enroll in a health insurance plan through one of the Affordable Care Act's new online marketplaces. Those who sign up by Wednesday will have coverage starting next month.

Open enrollment for 2014 runs through March 31. For people who enroll by Jan. 15, coverage takes effect on Feb. 1. For those who sign up from Jan. 16-30, coverage starts March 1.

The federal exchange, HealthCare.gov, is the gateway for people to sign up in 34 states. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia are running their own exchanges. Sign-ups began Oct. 1, 2013. But due to technical problems with the HealthCare.gov website and some of the state marketplaces, would-be users may have shied away.

Many of those individuals weren't aware of the exchanges or the financial assistance available to them under the health-reform law, a recent Commonwealth Fund survey found. "There's time left, and that is why this enrollment period was six months," Sara Collins, vice president for health care coverage and access at the Commonwealth Fund, told HealthDay.

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