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Health care exchange deadline fast approaching

Health care exchange deadline fast approaching

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - The deadline to sign up for health care through the federal exchange website is fast approaching.

To have health insurance by April 1, people have to sign up through heathcare.gov by March 15. The website is part of President Barack Obama's signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act. Here in the Coulee Region, Gundersen Health System says it's seen nearly 2,000 people sign up online in the past few months.

For the Affordable Care Act to work, a large number of the exchange enrollees need to be younger, in order to keep health-care costs down. So far, that's not what the website has seen.

"The demographic is pretty much trending with the national average," said Michael Richards, executive director for Gundersen External Affairs. "I think we are seeing fewer people who are the ‘young invincibles' under 34 years old, which we'd like to see more of. Hopefully they're going to be getting on in March towards the end of the deadline."

When it was first launched last fall, the website dealt with persistent problems that kept many people from signing up. Federal officials say those errors have largely been corrected since.

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