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You Can Still Get Health Insurance, Officials Announce Grace Period

The deadline to sign up for affordable healthcare was March 31st at midnight.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter takes a look at options if you need more time.

“I was confused, I didn’t know whether or not to come or to stay so I was like let me just get out and see what it’s all about,” applicant India Young said.

Like millions of Americans India Young is trying to make sense of the affordable healthcare act.

She went to the St. Thomas Community Center for help signing up before the deadline.

“What I can afford as a single parent so this is what I’m trying to look into.”

She’s was cutting it close because the deadline was mid-night March 31st.

But she’s in luck.

Enrollment has been so high it’s caused problem with the website. Similar to glitches experienced when the website first launched.

“Now it’s happening on the last day, just too many visitors and the website just can’t handle it,” St. Thomas Community Center staff member Gina Wright said.

It translates to more time for applicants.

But you must request an extension by using one of two options.

Citizens who already have an account can log onto healthcare.gov and select the extension box which will appear at midnight, April 1st.

If you do not have an account, you can call the health care Marketplace (800) 318-2596 to request an extension.

Both options will give you until mid-April to fill out basic information, select health care coverage, and pay the premium.

Staffers at St. Thomas are helping dozens of people make the best choice.

“They need help with insurance terms and that’s what we’re here for and we go through that whole process with them,” Wright said.

India Young had nearly finished signing up when the computer shut down.

“I hope they give me an extension as since I did come out to see what’s going on you know and with the site crashing like it is,” Young said. “I think it’s only fair.”

Penalties for missing the deadline could be $95 dollars, or one percent of your income minus your filing threshold, whichever amount is more.