Arizona's uninsured rush to beat Obamacare deadline

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by Jared Dillingham

Bio | Email | Follow: @JaredDillingham

azfamily.com

Posted on March 28, 2014 at 9:28 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 28 at 9:40 PM

PHOENIX -- Some of Arizona's uninsured are treating the deadline to sign up for the Affordable Care Act like the deadline to file taxes and waiting until the last minute.

As of March 1, only 60,000 of the 1 million uninsured people in Arizona had signed up for the ACA. Another 100,000 found out they qualified for expanded AHCCCS, or Medicaid coverage.

Enroll America says 74 percent of the people who have signed up qualify for assistance.

There is no extension for the sign-up deadline, but those who have started the process will be given a grace period to finish.

People who choose not to enroll face a fine on next year's taxes.

"Well, we knew at the start we weren't going to get to everybody, but every day we hear another story from someone who says, 'I didn't realize the plan was going to be so affordable for me,' " Pati Urias of Enroll America told 3TV.

Her organization is one of several holding last-minute enrollment events through the weekend leading to Monday's deadline.

Several people were meeting with counselors at an event Friday night at a library in central Phoenix.

"So we anticipate this being the start to a very busy weekend," she said.
 
"I'm in two part-time jobs and neither offers insurance," Tolleson resident Humdallah Eljada told 3TV as he arrived for assistance in signing up for the ACA.

"To be honest, I think it's a great deal," he said on his way out.

"I'm here because I don't want to get fined," Phoenix resident Barbara Pewo explained. "It was very confusing but the people here were very helpful."

Enrollment events this weekend:
 
Saturday, March 29
South Mountain Community Center
212 E Alta Vista Rd, Phoenix
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Moonlight Madness
Sunday, March 30
Offices of Enroll America, downtown Phoenix
Please call 480-489-1400 to make an appointment
10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
 
Moonlight Madness
Monday, March 31
Offices of Enroll America, downtown Phoenix
Please call 480-489-1400 to make an appointment
7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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