Hundreds Sign Up For Health Care Ahead Of Deadline

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Monday (Mar. 31) marked the final day to sign up for health insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Many enrollment centers across Northwest Arkansas saw an increase in signees walking through their doors looking for help to enroll in health insurance before the 11 p.m. central time zone deadline.

"We have been packed since 8:30 a.m.," said Larry Fennell, an independent health agent in Arkansas. "I have people coming in at 7 p.m. tonight wanting to get enrolled."

Advocates of the health insurance overhaul have been pushing to get as many people as possible to sign up.

"They are going to have all of the preventative services," Fennell said. "They are not going to worry about, 'What if I fall off of a ladder?' They are going to have all essential benefits of the health act."

Not everyone has been excited about the new health care law and the enrollment deadline.

"A lot of people still are doubtful about what they may have to pay, and just trepidation in general of trying something new," said Tyler Clark, development manager at Community Clinic.

Officials have warned that if people do not get health insurance, they will be penalized.

"They will be assessed a penalty of $95 per person in their household, or 1 percent of their annual gross adjusted income," Clark said.

Some health agents have made it a priority to explain the options.

"Once they really understand what their premiums will be when they factor in their advanced premium tax credit and factor in their cost sharing subsidies, about 60 to 70 percent of the people are surprised that their premium is lower than they ever thought was possible," Fennell said.

The White House has given extra time for those who tried to enroll before Monday's deadline but did not finish the process due to website glitches or missing information. The government will accept paper applications until April 7.


  • Kevin

    First of all 6 million people have signed up and no one knows (not even the government they claim) knows the demographics of who signed up. so it could be all the people who lost their healthcare for all we know. FAILURE

  • Tom

    Nobody signed up for health care lying liberal 5 “news.” They signed up for insurance. Big difference. They will see.

  • bobreal

    I’m WHITE I was told it would CO$T me at least $200 a month but if I was Black, Mexican or an ILLEGAL it would be FREE… Now what is wrong with this picture??

    • Happy, happy, happy

      Bobreal, at least that is better than the $588 monthly I pay and I still have co-pays on both medical and prescriptions.

  • Kathie Bentley Fisher

    Tell me how an adult over age 26 who lives with their parents because they have no job and no money is going to pay medical insurance premiums? How does anyone with no income who cannot be covered under someone elses policy get covered? How are they going to pay the fine because they cannot buy something with money they do not have?

  • Sarah 1

    All comments taken with a grain of salt. Pull up archival information regarding Social Security and you will see the same condemnations.
    Try taking that retirement benefit away?
    The fact is The Affordable Care Act is a wonderful event in our nations history just as Social Security has been and will continue to be.
    Very happy to have affordable health care.

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