Tennesseans scrambling to meet health care enrollment deadline - WSMV Channel 4

Tennesseans scrambling to meet health care enrollment deadline

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Countless Tennesseans are racing against the clock to sign up for a health coverage.

After being laid off in January, Thera Beaman knew she wouldn't be able to afford her former plan.

"I was able to get a better plan through the Affordable Care Act than I did through my employer," she said.

At an Antioch library that offers enrollment help, people were just as anxious to enroll.

"There are people waiting in line when we open the doors here," said Jackie Shrago, a volunteer with Get Covered Nashville.  
Families took their seats in front of computer screens to sign up before the looming deadline. With just one day left, volunteers like Shrago have been in high demand.

"It's very busy," Shrago said. "We are very pleased so many people are realizing this is the deadline."

After March 31, you won't be able to get coverage through the marketplace until the next annual enrollment period unless you have a qualifying life event.

The pressure is on nationwide. On Twitter, the healthcare.gov account reported 2 million visits and 380,000 calls so far this weekend.

If you choose not to enroll, you will have to pay this year's penalty: either 1 percent of your yearly income or $95 per adult, whichever amount is higher.

Local health care volunteers are trying to make sure that won't happen.

"We are working all afternoon today, and we are working all day tomorrow," Shrago said.

This week, the Obama administration announced that people who have started applying for health insurance but aren't able to finish before the deadline will get extra time.

On Monday, March 31, you can go to the Green Hills Library from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. to enroll. The Main Library will also be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Other locations are listed on www.getcoveredtenn.org.

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