Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell told a group of medical students yesterday that getting those who are still uninsured to sign up during the next open enrollment period is going to be a “bigger challenge.”

Speaking at the Howard University College of Medicine, Burwell said, “But while our goals may be harder to reach, we’re working smarter to reach them.”

The thirdĀ annual open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka “Obamacare”) commences Nov. 1.

The HHS secretary said her agency will focus on the uninsured in the densely populated areas of Dallas, Houston, northern New Jersey, Chicago and Miami. She said one of the tools they will use is to remind the uninsured that the tax penalty for not having health insurance rises to $695 per individual in 2016.

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