Meridian, Miss. Dozens of people flooded the waiting room of Greater Meridian Health Clinic as the deadline for enrollment in Obamacare draws to a close. The six month enrollment period started October 1, 2013 and ends at 11:00 PM Central March 31st. With the healthcare.gov website being flooded with traffic, many individuals trying to sign up are met with numerous hurdles, from slow response of the website to the website being down. However, there are ways to still meet the deadline.
Donald Naylor an Outreach Worker at GMHC says, "because so many people are trying to get in before the deadline is over with and the marketplace is flooded with phone calls and online, a lot of people are able to leave their phone number. In 5 to 7 days they'll contact you back. As long as you are active and in the system, you'll be able to apply after the deadline."
As long as an application is started by this evening's deadline, even though you didn't finish, you can take advantage of a grace period.
"They have until next Monday to complete their application if they've already started it before 11:59 tonight," said Beverly Hearn, Director of Education and Outreach at GMHC. "When they are answering the phone at the marketplace today, they're telling the clients that they'll be called back in six to seven days."
Now the deadline to start your application is midnight Eastern Time, which for us is 11:00 PM Central Time. For individuals who are submitting an application by paper, the government says it will accept those until April 7th, 2014. If you meet the deadline, insurance coverage will begin by May 1, 2014. Once the deadline passes for enrollment, the next enrollment period will not begin until November 15th of this year and last until February 15, 2015.
If you would like to sign up by phone or get help from an enrollment specialist, you can call 1-800-318-2596.