Editorial: Don’t Miss the Obamacare Deadline 

January 31 is the last day to register. Failure to get coverage will result in fines.
Editorial: Don’t Miss the Obamacare Deadline 
Foto: EFE

There are only 10 days left before the registration deadline for state-sponsored health insurance programs Covered California and NY State of Health. Coverage is mandatory, and residents who fail to sign up risk lacking funds to pay the incredibly high cost of medical attention in the event of illness or accident, and having to pay a fine.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA,) also known as Obamacare, has had a positive effect, particularly in the Latino community. For instance, the number of Hispanic children lacking health insurance –  formerly the largest uninsured sector – has decreased significantly. California and New York are two of the states with a large population of Latino minors that were able to reduce the percentage of youths lacking health coverage, from the national average of 9.7% to 6.8% and 3.8%, respectively.

The fact that more Latino children have insurance also means that more adults are covered. Studies show that parents buy insurance for themselves when they purchase their children’s.

Still, there are millions of low-income resident who remain without health coverage even though they qualify for subsidies. This will cost them money.

For the system to work, all U.S. citizens and legal residents must be insured. The participation of young adults, for instance, is crucial because healthy subscribers are needed to balance out the expense of taking care of the sick.

That is why fines – which currently total around $1,000 – are set to increase every year. For some people, paying the fine is cheaper than obtaining Obamacare. Cheaper, if this is ends up being their only medical expense: An accident or illness could possibly surpass any kind of savings and leave the person exposed to personal bankruptcy. Medical costs are the main culprits of this type of financial crisis.

January 31 is the deadline to register. Make sure not to miss it if you are still uninsured. There is no greater risk than passing up on buying health insurance. There is no bigger negligence than failing to insure children. Do not let this opportunity slip away.