Deadline to sign up for Affordable Care Act looms

WICHITA, Kansas – Thousands across the country have spent the past week scrambling to get signed up and enrolled in the Affordable Care Act before the March 31st deadline.

This weekend, an open enrollment meeting was held at the Wichita Public Library that allowed the uninsured the chance to work with health care navigators to get enrolled at the last minute.

Debbie Berndsen, the Navigation Project Director for the Kansas Association of the Medically Underserved, says 170 certified navigators are working across the state to help people get insurance.

The navigators, who work through the KAMU Grant Project, have been fully booked with appointments leading up the deadline, causing them to put in longer hours and work this weekend.

Berndsen says that some struggles the navigators have dealt with is those who come to them without all the proper information to get through the sign up process smoothly.

She says that people need to have an email address and social security information for everyone that is going to be insured.

Berndsen adds that it’s also best that people research the plan they want before working with a health care navigator.

“You can click shop before I apply, look at those health insurance plans an that will really help the process along,” said Berndsen.

With the last minute surge of people trying to sign up, some won’t be able to get enrolled before Monday’s deadline.

“There are people there that the navigators can’t get to because they don’t have the capacity to do it or get it done, than they’ll be an opportunity for those people to schedule appointments after tomorrow,” said Berndsen.

Once the deadline passes, those who weren’t able to get enrolled will still have a chance.

They will be able to file extensions through the healthcare.gov website and explain the difficulties they might have had during the sign up process.

Those looking to enroll in the Affordable Care Act in Wichita before the deadline will have one more chance.

The Wichita Public Library will hold an open enrollment meeting Monday evening.

The meeting will last from 5 to 7 p.m.

For more information, you can call the library at 261-8500.

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