Healthcare deadline brings last minute surge in Tennessee - WSMV Channel 4

Healthcare deadline brings last minute surge in Tennessee

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV-AP) -

Tennessee health care volunteers are being flooded with a last-minute surge of consumers hoping to sign up for health coverage by deadline.

For many, Monday was a day of waiting and frustration because the federal government's website for choosing a health plan ground to a halt as people seeking coverage on the last day created heavy demand.

Federal officials set a deadline of March 31 to get health insurance but have said that anyone who started the process but was not able to get enrolled because of technical glitches will have a little extra time.

Madeline Garr volunteered to help people sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act at Nashville's downtown library.

"We are seeing people from all different backgrounds, different races, both genders, different socioeconomic backgrounds," Garr said.

Pam Miller came from Franklin and said she tried to register for Obamacare several times online, but each time something went wrong.

"Yes, very frustrated. That's when I would say, 'Well, there's always tomorrow,'" Miller said.

Miller sat down with healthcare navigator Mohsun Naguib, and they were able to set up an account. But when it came time to pick a plan, the website jammed up.

Naguib ended up giving Miller and extension. She won't have to pay the $95 penalty for not signing up for coverage by the deadline.

Federal figures show that between Oct. 1 and March 1, 77,867 Tennesseans enrolled in insurance through healthcare.gov.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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