NATIONAL -- Open enrollment for the national healthcare plan ends Monday, but some Americans may get extra time to finish their applications. Administration officials say they're not extending the March 31 deadline, but they're considering giving those who start the process by month's end, additional time if they run into trouble. Americans without health insurance this year will face a penalty.
CHAMPAIGN COUNTY -- With less than a week until the national healthcare deadline, more people are signing up. People could start to face penalties if they're not enrolled by Monday.
After that, the sign-up will close until November, unless you have a special circumstance, like giving birth or getting married. Then, if you're still not enrolled, you'll have to pay one percent of your yearly household income, or $95 per person, whichever is higher. Those penalties increase each year you're not covered.
Workers at Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD) say they've seen more people coming in lately to get signed up ahead of the deadline. They've even extended their hours to help make it easier to get everything squared away.
Some people who haven't signed up yet say they can't afford it or don't need it. One of the most common problems is people have applied, but haven't heard back yet.
Public health workers say sometimes it takes longer to hear back than you may expect; but be patient. You shouldn't need to resubmit information if it was done correctly.
CUPHD will be open from 8 am - 8 pm, through Friday and also next Monday. It's open from 10 am - 1 pm on Saturday. Anyone can make an appointment with CUPHD, not just those living in Champaign-Urbana.
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