Navigators help with last-minute Obamacare sign-ups - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Navigators help with last-minute Obamacare sign-ups

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Those who have started the sign-up process by Monday's official deadline will be given time and help to finish. Those who have started the sign-up process by Monday's official deadline will be given time and help to finish.
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

The Obama administration is giving people a little more slack on signing up for Obamacare. Americans must sign up for Affordable Care Act-approved health insurance by next Monday or get hit with a fine.

However, Tuesday night, a spokesman said those who have started the sign-up process by then will be given time and help to finish.

In the Tennessee Valley, those looking to sign up are feeling the pressure. Deborah Brown came to a Huntsville workshop to sign up for health insurance; very aware that time is running out. "I meant to come two weeks ago, and I said, ‘I need to get here before the deadline because it's stopping next week,'" she said.

For weeks, representatives from Huntsville Hospital, Drake State and Enroll Alabama have been conducting classes with healthcare navigators to walk people through the signup process. They say the tone has changed recently.

"We usually see about 20, 25 people for signup," said Adonis Hardeman, "but now we have about 40. There is some sense of urgency for people to come down and get signed up."

Some attendees still find it a challenge getting through Healthcare.gov, while others are stymied by the numbers, saying the prices are too expensive for their budget.

Navigators said the growing numbers of people coming out for their first chance at health insurance often have the same questions. "What is the price I'm going to get? What is the deadline about? What are the fines? Can I get Blue Cross or Humana? What exactly does this mean for me and my family," said Dan Liss, explaining some of the frequently asked queries.

Deborah Brown said she was gratified to get the process over. "It's a load off my mind. I got health care now," she said.

The navigators are still dealing with plenty of folks mystified by the requirements, including some already covered by veterans' benefits or Medicare, who have still been concerned about the deadline.

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