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Appalachia Health News tells the story of our health challenges and how we overcome them throughout the region. 

Federal Government Extends Health Insurance Enrollment Period

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Federal officials are extending the amount of time West Virginians have to sign up for health insurance through the HealthCare.gov website. 

HealthCare.gov CEO Kevin Counihan made the announcement in a press release Wednesday.

Because of increased demand and the volume of people looking to sign up for health insurance through the website, Counihan said the federal government is pushing back the first December 15 deadline to December 17. 

HealthCare.gov was created after the passage of the Affordable Care Act. It requires all Americans to have health insurance.

At the end of the 2015 enrollment period, more than 33,000 West Virginians had signed up for health plans on the exchange.

Health insurance plans obtained by the December 17 deadline go into effect January 1, 2016. Any West Virginian without insurance will face a federal penalty which could be as much as $2,000

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