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Affordable Care Act changes add confusion as healthcare signup deadline looms

A computer screen reads,
A computer screen reads, "Enroll by Dec. 23 for coverage starting as soon as Jan 1." as agents from Sunshine Life and Health Advisors help people purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act at the kiosk setup at the Mall of Americas on December 22, 2013 in Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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A health insurance lifeline has been thrown to thousands of Americans whose policies were cancelled due to the Affordable Care Act.

Following a decision to extend the deadline, tomorrow is the last day people can apply for health coverage to start on January 1, both federally and through Covered California.

The White House has issued a temporary hardship exemption meaning those with canceled plans won't be hit with stiff tax penalties for non-compliance. Anyone in this category is also eligible to apply for bare-bones catastrophic coverage which is usually reserved from the under 30s.

Republican critics say this latest amendment to Obamacare is further evidence that the law is unworkable and should be scrapped. Democrats argue the latest step is a common-sense solution to a difficult situation.

The Department of Health and Human Services has set up a dedicated hotline to help consumers with cancelled policies - 1866-837-0677.

What is your experience of securing healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act? Are you confused with the changes? If you have a policy starting on January 1, how will it differ from the healthcare coverage you currently have?


Gerald Kominski, Director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Yevgeniy Feyman, Fellow at the Center for Medical Progress at the Manhattan Institute

Jennifer Haberkorn, Health Reporter with Politico