Deadline to enroll in ACA health coverage extended three days

Computer glitches over weekend prompts extension

SAN ANTONIOUpdated Monday:

Due to computer glitches over the weekend, the deadline to enroll has been extended until Wednesday.

Original story:

The clock is ticking to enroll for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Sunday is the deadline to sign up through the federal online marketplace.

More than 300,000 people in Bexar County are uninsured. Heather Mockeridge knows what that’s like.

“I would be waiting outside clinic doors with other uninsured people, hoping to be seen,” she recalled.

Mockeridge was self-employed, and health insurance was too expensive.

“What working person can fork over $1,000 a month? Most people can’t. I certainly couldn’t,” she said.

She is now covered through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace. It’s for people who don’t have health insurance through their employer or the government. Tax credits significantly help those who qualify pay for it.

With the cutoff date looming, EnrollSA, a community coalition, is extending hours to help walk people through the process and the dozens of insurance plans.

“We’re making appointments. We do take walk-ins, as well," said Herlinda Ibarra, with EnrollSA.

Navigators and counselors will be available from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Sunday at the CentroMed locations at 3750 Commercial Ave. and 5542 Walzem Rd.

Appointments can be made through www.enrollsa.com. Walk-ins are welcome, and people are urged to bring their latest tax documents.

“They helped me out through the whole process,” said Liliana Martinez.

She was re-enrolling for a second year. She was previously uninsured, but when her children were no longer eligible for Medicaid, she decided to look into ACA coverage.

“Now, we’re not scared to go to the hospital or go to the clinic,” she said. “We don’t have to worry about it anymore.”

Last year, nearly 66,000 Bexar County residents enrolled in one of the marketplace plans. That was an 11% plunge from the year before. The Sunday deadline was largely attributed to confusion and a lack of awareness that the ACA is still the law. For 2019, the law was changed, so health insurance was no longer a mandate.

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