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U.S. creates stricter rules for latecomers trying to gain health insurance — 5 things to know

Responding to complaints from insurance companies, the Obama administration announced several steps that will make it harder for consumers to obtain health insurance after the annual open enrollment period, according to The New York Times.

Here are five things to know:

1. Insurers say many consumers have belatedly signed up for coverage under the ACA when they become sick and need care, which drives up costs for people who sign up during the regular open enrollment period.

2. Open enrollment ends this year on Jan. 31.

3. Kevin J. Counihan, chief executive of the federal insurance marketplace, said special enrollment periods are not allowed for people who choose to remain uninsured and then decide they need health insurance when they get sick.

4. Federal officials said nearly 950,000 people used special enrollment periods to get health coverage through HealthCare.gov from late February to the end of June 2015, and then dropped coverage soon after receiving costly medical services.

5. Most of the special enrollment periods will still be available when people marry, have a baby, lose job-based coverage or become ineligible for coverage under a parent's health plan at the age of 26.

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