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NE FL Obamacare navigator says people are still rushing in

The deadline to enroll for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act and have coverage by January 1st is gone, but one local navigator says people are still rushing in to sign up.

“People are now seeing that they need to do this,” says Joyce Case, the program director for the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida’s navigator program.

“There’s some planning.  There’s a process to the application.  I think people are realizing that it’s not something that they can just go on the internet, click a button, and have insurance coverage.”

Case says some people she saw who waited until this week to sign up for coverage weren’t able to do it in time to be covered for the New Year.

But she says most people were able to make it before the December 23rd deadline, which was extended to the 24th at the last minute by the Obama Administration.

“People who needed to have that extra day to enroll were happy to have it,” case says.  “We were actually able to enroll some folks on the 24th and get them coverage before the deadline.”

She says the difference between working with healthcare.gov now and when it first launched is like “night and day.”

“There’s no more waiting with the website being up,” she says.  “The screens come up very quickly, and you’re able to process people very quickly.”

People without health insurance have until March 31st, 2014 to enroll for insurance next year, or else they’ll face a financial penalty.

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