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El Pasoans still trying to navigate Obamacare as deadline extends one day

By Pilar Arias, pilar.arias@kvia.com
Published On: Dec 23 2013 07:30:55 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 16 2014 08:14:48 PM CST

Navigators helping El Pasoans sign up for Obamacare

EL PASO, Texas -

With the first significant Affordable Care Act deadline looming, El Pasoans went to  Project Amistad and the Ysleta Library Monday to try and find out as much as they could about their options.

Navigators at both locations had the same goal of helping people sign up for health insurance as part of the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare.

"I barely found out by calling 211 that today was the last day to be registered by Jan. 1," Kris Beatty said Monday afternoon.

She is unemployed and even after meeting with a navigator she's still unsure about her options. Beatty just knew she had to reach out for help and is excited about the possibility of health care again because of conditions she has involving blood pressure, thyroid and depression.

Navigators can help with more than just guiding people through the healthcare.gov website.

"Assisting can be anywhere from comparing plans, from showing them what's the different in a certain coverage, helping them type information in," Veronica Cruz-Montero said. She and the other two navigators who work at Project Amistad will be available to help until noon Tuesday.

Although Beatty says the law scares her she thinks it's good that the law will allow a lot more people to stay on top of their health.

For help from Project Amistad, go to www.projectamistad.org or call 915-532-3790. Enroll El Paso's www.enrollelpaso.org number is 915-206-2121.

Anticipating heavy traffic on the government's health care website, the Obama administration extended Monday's deadline for signing up for insurance by a day, giving Americans in 36 states more time to select a plan.
    
It was the latest in a series of pushed-back deadlines and delays that have marked the rollout of the health care law.
    
But federal officials urged buyers not to procrastinate.
    
"You should not wait until tomorrow. If you are aiming to get coverage Jan. 1, you should try to sign up today," said Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the federal agency in charge of the overhaul.
    
Bataille said the grace period - which runs through Tuesday - was being offered to accommodate people from different time zones and to allow for any technical problems that might result from a last-minute rush of applicants.

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