Uninsured Hoosiers scramble to sign up for Affordable Care Act before midnight deadline

INDIANAPOLIS - Uninsured Hoosiers scrambled to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act before the March 31 midnight deadline.

Hundreds of people lined up at Eskenazi Health Hospital Monday to register or to meet with a navigator to complete the application process.

Eskenazi Spokeswoman Melissa Masterson said there were a few glitches with the website but things quickly got back on track.

"We have had a couple of website challenges.  Any time you have this many people trying to get serviced by midnight tonight you are going to experience those challenges.  We have been doing our best. In some instances, they have had to log out and log back in, or resort to calling the 800 number on the website," Masterson said.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, at various times Monday more than 100,000 people were using the system at the same time. At Eskenazi, it took about 30 minutes to complete each application.

Getting health insurance is urgent for 54-year-old Denise Whitfield. She says she's battling a number of issues that require lots of medication.

"I pay $168 a month for medication for diabetes, blood pressure, emphysema, asthma and bronchitis. I need health insurance," Whitfield said.
In the past, Whitfield said has gotten help to pay for her medicine, through the Salvation Army and the Center Township Trustee. 
Heather Matthew, 21, said despite her age, she knows the importance of health insurance.
"You could slip and fall.  You could be in a car accident; anything could happen. No one plans on those things, but if something happens to me I'd like to know that I'm covered," Matthew said.

If you start an application by March 31 but you need more time to complete it, you can apply for an extension at www.Healthcare.gov
 

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