Deadline for health insurance mandate 6-days away

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- If you haven't signed up for health insurance, you must begin the application process before the March 31st enrollment period deadline or face a fine. It's a mandate in the Affordable Care Act.

Residents can sign up through the website and can find a local "navigator" to help them through the process.

"This is the first time in our nation's history where people can go to one place and shop for very affordable health care," said Kathleen Falk, Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Some people are still unaware that it is mandatory to have insurance.

"Like anything new it takes time for people to learn about it and that's why I'm here to help get the word out these last 6 days," said Falk.


Falk, along with Beacon Health System CEO Phil Newbold and South Bend Deputy Mayor Mark Neal met at Memorial Hospital to point the uninsured in the right direction.

"You can sign up for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act and cannot be denied coverage for a preexisting condition. So very important for folks to get out into the community to find a navigator," said Neal.

Beverly Milon is a certified navigator who can walk people in need of health insurance through the process.

"We're going to work with them as far as their income, home size, whatever's going with them we're going to work with them to get online to get healthcare," said Milon.

Navigators are waiting to help at memorial hospital and at other offices all across Michiana.

Navigators say the easiest thing to do is just call the hospital.

"We accept walk-ins. It's only 6 days so we want you to just come on in. We want to work with you," said Milon.

If you do plan to just walk in, take your social security card.

The fines are a way to make sure people sign up. If you fail to start the application process by March 31st the fines for 2014 are $95 for each adult, $47.50 per child and up to $285 in fines per family


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