50,000 Kansans sign up for insurance in federal exchange

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says about 50,000 people in Kansas had signed up through the federal health insurance exchange as of Dec. 12.

Open enrollment runs through Jan. 31, but people who haven’t signed up won’t have coverage until February. The Topeka Capital-Journal (http://bit.ly/1RZQrwK) reports people who have a “qualifying event” after the deadline, such as having a baby, losing a job or aging off their parents’ insurance plans, can sign up later.

People who don’t buy insurance in 2016 will pay a penalty of 2.5 percent of household income or $696 per adult and $348 per child, whichever is higher. The maximum penalty for a family is $20,600.

Hardship exemptions are available for households whose insurance costs would exceed 8.13 percent of their incomes.