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Enrollment Ends ‘Nightmare’

Leslie Wyer, 60, says the health-insurance policy she bought through the Affordable Care Act is one of  the best Christmas presents she’s ever received. The Ormond Beach resident lost her insurance more than three years ago after her divorce, and she faces $175,000 in bills related to chronic Crohn’s disease. Wyer said that getting a policy brought an end to a “nightmare,” the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

Those who had been unable to buy insurance because of illness rushed to enroll in a plan through as soon as the Affordable Care Act forced insurers to take them. Another group that was quick to sign up: Those who already had insurance but had been forced to pay staggering premiums because of their health risk.

Fewer young healthy adults have enrolled in the first wave, and that has caused some  economists to worry that the risk-spread will be out of whack, causing premiums to go up.  But others say they think that group will enroll closer to the deadline. The end of open enrollment for 2014 is March 31.

The ACA requires that  most Americans obtain an insurance policy for 2014 or pay a penalty. Those who have very low incomes are exempt.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.