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Last-minute health insurance shoppers try to get covered before deadline

Updated: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 |
Last-minute health insurance shoppers try to get covered before deadline  story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The clock is ticking for millions of Americans to get health insurance before midnight comes and the fines set in.

Monday is the last day to sign up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare”.

The rush of people logging onto HealthCare.gov to beat the deadline caused the site to crash several times Monday.

At last check, 6 million Americans have enrolled using the website, including 145,000 Michiganders.

It was a very busy day at the Family Health Center in Kalamazoo as people tried to beat the clock.

The majority of them say they didn't know the deadline was so close.

With the deadline for the Affordable Care Act heavy on his mind, Riley Scott said he came into the Family Health Center to make sure his paperwork would get in on time.      

“I’m looking forward to this health care to kick in for me and help me out,” Scott said. 

Scott is just one of dozens to come into the health center for last minute assistance.

There’s a special office set up with 11 employees ready to help.

“We’ve been very busy, but we have been very accommodating,” said Lateshia Agnew, a Certified Application Counselor.

In Michigan, consumers have been getting coverage through the federal government using HealthCare.gov.
 
Agnew said some rates have been surprisingly low.

“The average is about $60 a month with a $450 deductible. The lowest I’ve seen is $3.18 a month,” Agnew said. 

The hard deadline is midnight Monday.

After that, you run the risk of getting fined, $95 dollars for an adult that would come out of federal taxes.

You’d then have to wait until November for the next round of enrollment.

But the government is granting extensions, especially for consumers who have signed up and are still going through the enrollment process.

Agnew said they'll still be helping people after the deadline.

“Each person is individually different so we have to take it on a case by case scenario,” Agnew said. 

While some people he knows have been leery of getting covered, Scott said signing up was easier than he expected and has given him peace of mind.

“If my health deteriorates I can always come into the office and get my insurance taken care of with no problem. Also my medication because I am a diabetic. I'm very impressed with it,” Scott said.

If you still need help getting covered, click here.
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