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Deadline approaching for health care enrollment

By Angela Yingling
Published On: Mar 25 2014 04:58:02 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 25 2014 04:15:45 PM CDT

With a deadline looming, many need to make a decision about health insurance before Monday, March 31.

If you don't have health insurance, you have just six days left to sign up.

Like many people, Patricia Grizzle has waited to sign up for health insurance. "I just kept putting off," she told us.

With the deadline looming, she's going to need to make a decision. She says she's weighing her options and working to get signed up by Monday, March 31.

Anyone not signed up by then faces a penalty. This year that fine is at least $95 per adult and $47.50 per child.

To avoid the fine, we're told many people can get insurance with the help of tax credits. "There are so many people that qualify for tax credits. The tax credits are what helps them pay their insurance premium," says Monica Hall with the Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems (SVCHS).

SVCHA is the group that's been helping people figure out what they need to do in order to sign up. Hall says many people don't realize they may actually qualify for help. "A family might go in and put in that they're not going to file a tax return for 2014 because they are not required to if they are on Social Security disability, but Social Security disability can qualify as income. If they're willing to file a tax return, then they can get the tax credits associated with it," she said.

For Grizzle, she says her options to get insured are affordable -- about $150 per month for both her and her husband. "I figured it'd be so expensive we couldn't really put the money out there," she said.

If you don't sign up for health insurance by Monday, your next time to sign up will be November 15.

There are exceptions to the rule -- if you have a life event, like changing jobs, moving, or getting married, you can request the Marketplace open for you before November 15.

To talk with an expert and get all of your questions answered, there's a session Wednesday from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Glade Spring Library.