Here's a head-scratcher: Why would people buy a health insurance policy that doesn't cover a number of basic medical services and gets them fined by the federal government?

It's cheaper that way, insist many of the people who are opting to purchase short-term health plans that do not meet the standards for insurance specified by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

That's why, according to eHealth, an online insurance marketplace, 147,000 purchased short-term policies through the site last year. The full scope of the short-term market remains ambiguous, however.

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