Health
10:17 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Kansas Healthcare Navigators Slammed With Requests Ahead Of ACA Deadline

Consumers and health care counselors struggled through problems with the federal online health insurance marketplace on Monday.

They were hit with a crush of late requests from Kansans trying to sign up for health coverage by the deadline.

The Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved trained most of the state's 170 or so health care counselors, or navigators.

The non-profit group reported that their schedules were packed with appointments ahead of the deadline.

The Affordable Care Act requires that Americans have or have signed up for health coverage by yesterday if they want to avoid a penalty.

HealthCare.gov was out of service for nearly four hours yesterday morning, and another problem later temporarily kept new applicants from signing up.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is projecting that 53,000 Kansas residents will have enrolled in coverage through the marketplace by the end of March.

It said about 29,000 had done so by the end of February.

Millions of people nationwide are potentially eligible for extensions, including those who began enrolling by the deadline but weren't able to finish.