Covered or not, deadline nears on ACA

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The phones can hardly stay on the receivers at the Community Action Partnership.

Volunteers have barely had a moment to themselves as people continue to seek help in enrolling for health coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act.

People are trying to get coverage before Monday’s midnight deadline.

“It’s been really busy,” said Michelle Nelson, Outreach Project Director at Community Action Partnership. “We’ve had people walk in with no appointment. The phone has been ringing off the hook.”

It has been so busy, in fact, Nelson has barely had time to eat.

More than a 100,000 people were trying to log onto the government’s healthcare web site at peak times on Monday.

They were trying to join nearly seven million people nationally who have enrolled.

But that number is well below the more than 40 million people eligible for health coverage.

“I’m not going to be concerned about it because I’m not paying for it,” said Allen Sauner, opting not to enroll in the healthcare coverage. “It’s not even an option one way or another.”

Sauner of Dayton would rather pay the penalty fee than pay for coverage. He said it is more than what he was paying previously.

The penalty fee is $95 or one percent of income, whichever is greater, for people who do not enroll by the March 31 deadline.

Some would rather take their chances.

“I tough it out,” said Sauner.

Thousands across the state, however, were trying to beat the midnight deadline.

Nelson said some were never able to afford health insurance until now.

“I’ve seen a number of people that have ended up in tears because they can finally go to the doctor and get medication,” said Nelson.

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