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Utah enrollment grows as the deadline for open enrollment looms

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – The clock is ticking for those waiting to sign up for health insurance on healthcare.gov.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – The clock is ticking for those waiting to sign up for health insurance on healthcare.gov.

Anyone who doesn't get it done by the end of this month will have to wait until next year and pay the price.

Casey Bitton knows first hand just how expensive going without insurance can be.

"I was just in the hospital a couple of days ago and I ended up with a 1000 dollar bill for no reason," said Bitton.

He has looked into options on healthcare.gov, but for now he's weighing the options, just like many others...

"People wait until the last minute to sign up for health insurance and they are realizing how important this is," said Jason Stevenson, with Utah Health Policy Project.

Not everyone is waiting until the midnight hour.

In February 10,483 people signed up for a plan in our state, bringing the total to 39,902, the goal is 57,000.

In Utah 31% are in the vital 18 to 34 year old age range, known as the young invincibles.

"We're actually the number one state in the country for enrolling that age group," said Stevenson.

Time is running out for that age group and all the others.

The deadline to enroll is weeks away, March 31, 2014.

"If you don't have insurance and you don't have a waiver or you earn enough money above the poverty line you will be fined," said Stevenson.

That fine runs $95 for adults and $47.50 for children, or 1% of your income, whichever is higher.

Not enough to motivate Bitton as the opportunity begins to slip away.

"If I can't find affordable insurance that's going to do me right, then I’d rather pay the fine," said Bitton.

There are some life event exceptions, just like any other insurance plan.

For example, if you lost your job you would be able to go onto health care.gov to enroll for a plan.

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