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Crunch time for Obamacare: About 40K Utahns are in

Published March 11, 2014 2:35 pm

Health reform• Nearly 40,000 Utahns have signed up for coverage on www.HealthCare.gov.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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 http://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

Twitter: @KStewart4Trib