Suddenly Health Insurance Is Not for Sale

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Of the more than 180 insurance carriers its works with across the United States, eHealthInsurance has identified just 14 states where at least one insurer has agreed to accept new applications off-exchange, mostly through April 15 or April 30.

'People did not understand that you couldn't get insurance at all'

There are a few exceptions.

Meritus, a Tempe, Ariz.-based nonprofit health insurer, said it intends to sell coverage outside of open enrollment. The consumer-owned and -operated health insurer is currently confirming its plan with the Arizona Department of Insurance.

"Due to the large number of people who did not enroll during open enrollment, we feel that providing an opportunity for people to still secure coverage is important to the community," Meritus CEO Kathleen Oestreich told HealthDay.

"We understand there may be additional risk, but we are prepared to manage that risk," she added.

Nevada Health Co-op, a nonprofit health insurer in Las Vegas, is also extending enrollment beyond April.

"They ought to put a kiosk in the emergency rooms, because who's going to be signing up? It's going to be people who desperately need insurance right now," said Larry Harrison, an independent broker in Las Vegas.

The rollout of Obamacare was marred by extensive computer glitches that hampered many Americans trying to sign up for coverage. The recent resignation of U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius may have been partly due to the fallout from that botched launch.

Consumers in most states had until April 15 to complete the enrollment process. People who submitted paper applications to the federal marketplace by April 7 have until the end of the month to select a plan.

More information

Visit HealthCare.gov to find out how to complete an insurance application.

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