Confusion grows over healthcare eligibility after deadline relaxed

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December 26, 2013, 5:27 am
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(NECN/NBC News: Danielle Leigh) - There's much confusion Thursday morning about who will be getting health insurance starting Jan. 1 after the Obama administration relaxed the sign-up deadline, originally Dec. 23.

Thursday morning it's not entirely clear who will be receiving healthcare from the federally-run exchange and when.

A healthcare.gov Twitter post tells people who missed the deadline they'll be considered for coverage Jan. 1 on a "case-by-case basis."

Everyone else starting the sign-up process Thursday can expect insurance in February.

Insurers say who enrolls is just as important as how many enroll.

Robert Zirkelbach of America's Health Insurance Plans said, “The success of healthcare reform depends on having broad participation in the market place. Getting younger healthier people to purchases coverage to help balance out cost."

Advocacy groups are intensifying outreach with catchy ads, hoping to convince young people “Obamacare” is worth the investment.

James Anderson got the message, but many of his friends have not.

Anderson said, "A lot of people go about it as if they don't care, nothing is going to happen to me, nothing is going to happen to me, until you need it and then you panic."

Industry consultants warn that in many cases, those who are enrolled can't relax just yet.

Robert Laszewski of Health Policy and Strategy Associate said, “Lots of people have signed up, they believe they've got coverage, there are still lots of errors."

After a record week of visitors on healthcare.gov, now comes the difficult task of making sure all those applications are correct and processed.

Tags: healthcare , Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, danielle leigh, sign-up
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