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Many More Montanans Buy Coverage on HealthCare.Gov


The deadline to buy health insurance at was Sunday, and a lot more people in Montana did that this year than did last year.

“It’s encouraging to us that more than 54,000 Montanans went to to purchase their health insurance,” said Jesse Laslovich, chief legal counsel for Montana’s insurance commissioner.

That’s compared to about 37,000 last year.

Laslovich says the higher numbers this year are mostly due to improvements to the federal website. The federal government says 84 percent of Montanans who bought coverage qualify for subsidies to help pay for it.

People who missed Sunday’s deadline and remain uninsured face a tax penalty of $325 or 2 percent of their income, whichever is greater. People will only be allowed to buy coverage after the deadline under special circumstances, like if they lose a job with health coverage or get married or divorced or have a child.

Eric Whitney is NPR's Mountain West/Great Plains Bureau Chief, and was the former news director for Montana Public Radio.
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