- Associated Press - Saturday, February 14, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa residents seeking health care coverage on the federal exchange have until Sunday to sign up.

This is the second open enrollment period under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, known as the Affordable Care Act. For the most part, enrollment has gone more smoothly this time, with fewer complaints about technical glitches.

Nearly 40,000 people in Iowa had signed up or had been re-enrolled in a plan as of last week, according to federal authorities. That’s more than the roughly 29,000 who signed up during the first enrollment.

The health care law was designed to reduce the number of people without health insurance, both through an expansion of Medicaid and with new marketplaces where people can shop for private coverage and apply for government aid to pay premiums.

Iowa is among 37 states using HealthCare.gov as their insurance marketplace. Those who want to see if they qualify for federal subsidies to help pay for coverage must apply through the site. Penalties for people who don’t have insurance increase in 2015.

In Iowa, some consumers have been scrambling to find new coverage since the state took over a cooperative that was selling insurance to residents in Iowa and Nebraska. Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart is seeking to liquidate CoOportunity Health, after he determined the nonprofit’s claims would exceed its available cash.

Gerhart said nearly 7,000 people in Iowa still have CoOportunity plans, with about 2,500 who bought coverage on the exchange. He said those customers could have more opportunities to get a plan, but he recommended finding a new policy quickly to avoid any gap in coverage.


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