ACA enrollment deadline extended to mid-April for some - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

ACA enrollment deadline extended to mid-April for some

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - The first deadline to sign up for healthcare through the Affordable Care Act is being extended for those who have attempted to apply for coverage. The deadline for the first enrollment period was originally set for March 31.

Counselors say they've been told the extension is until mid-April, but haven't received an exact date. The extension comes as there have been reports of website glitches along with confusion regarding the entire process throughout this first enrollment period.

Specialists at Peoples Community Health Clinic in Waterloo said despite the technological hiccups, there's been a good local response to the Affordable Care Act. Outreach and Enrollment Coordinator Sonja Bock said Peoples Clinic has helped thousands of people sign up for coverage in Black Hawk County.

However, now it's crunch time. The deadline looms and counselors said the waters are a bit muddied. Technically, people must have made an honest attempt to sign up for healthcare to take advantage of the extension. Bock said such attempts, though, are sometimes hard to prove.

"If you were to just sit down today and you're making a diligent attempt to enroll, but the site crashes, you can't prove that."

She said due to that problem, Peoples Clinic will be going off of the "merit system," and will help those who need it.

The tax penalty for not having any kind of healthcare can either be $95 or one percent of a person's annual income.

Counselors advise allotting at least an hour to complete the application process if applying online at healthcare.gov.
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