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Crunch time for Obamacare: About 40K Utahns are in


By kirsten stewart

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Mar 11 2014 02:35PM
Updated Mar 11, 2014 10:27PM

People, it appears, respond to deadlines.

As the March 31 enrollment deadline nears for Obamacare’s online insurance marketplace, more Utahns have rushed to sign up. Nearly 40,000 Utahns have found a health plan on www.HealthCare.gov. March enrollments so far have reached a 38 percent increase over February’s numbers.

Additionally, about 36,000 Utahns have been deemed eligible for Medicaid.

Nationally enrollment has reached 4.2 million, according to the latest federal tally.

The Obama administration has ramped up awareness efforts in the hopes of meeting its 7 million-person enrollment goal. Expecting a last-minute surge of shoppers, it has hired more operators to staff call centers.

"Our message to the American people is this: you still have time to get covered, but you’ll want to sign up today," said U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a press release.

Health advocates in Utah have launched a second social media campaign –– #whatsmorerisky –– urging young healthy residents to get covered.

It features images and comedic "one-liners" tied to movies filmed in Utah, such as The Sandlot, 127 Hours, and Forrest Gump.

"What’s more risky than falling for the preacher’s daughter?" asks the Footloose-themes ad. "Not having health insurance.

kstewart@sltrib.com" target="_blank">class="TEXT_w_Indent">kstewart@sltrib.com

Twitter: @KStewart4Trib

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