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More than 4,700 Marylanders signed up for health insurance during a special six-week enrollment period that helped them to avoid a federal tax penalty in 2015.

Many of these were people who were surprised to find they had been charged a penalty in 2014 for not signing up for insurance, according to officials who run the online marketplace where people enroll. By the time they found out about the penalty open enrollment had closed. The special enrollment allowed them extra time to get insurance and not face a penalty in 2015.

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The special enrollment ran March 15 through April 30.

The tax penalty for individuals who did not have health coverage in 2014 was 1 percent of gross household income over the federal income tax filing threshold, or $95 per individual, whichever is greater. For 2015, the penalty increases to 2 percent of gross household income over the federal income tax filing threshold, or $325 per individual, whichever is greater.

As of April 29, 125,535 Marylanders have enrolled in private plans through the online marketplace and 248,475 Marylanders have enrolled in Medicaid since Nov. 15.

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