Counselors rush to help people sign on to health insurance before deadline

Insurance deadline approaches to sign up or pay up

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The deadline is quickly approaching for people to get insured or get fined and Healthcare Insurance Marketplace counselors are working fast to help. 

The saying goes, "The third time's the charm."

"Or more," said Shirley Wright, who has been trying to sign onto the website since October, "I'm going to keep trying and trying and trying." 

For Wright, signing up for the Health Insurance Marketplace has taken longer than expected.

"Well, it's frustrating," she said.

She's not alone in struggling to understand the process.

"The first weeks and couple months of the process were really frustrating and the website prevented us from doing a lot to help get people insured," said Jim Torres, a Health Insurance Market Place counselor, "but now it's doing pretty well."

Torres is among two other counselors who visited the Bethel AME church in KCMO on Saturday for "Sign Up Saturday."  They say they've helped close to 2,100 people sign up for the Heath Insurance Marketplace since October.  Three million people around the United States have successfully enrolled in the Health Insurance Market place since October.  However, as the March 31  deadline approaches, counselors like Torres are acting fast to sign up as many people as they can.

"Some of these people have very serious health issues and helping them get the comfort of knowing if they get sick they can go see a doctor or they can go to the hospital and it's not going to financially ruin them," said Torres, "that makes you feel really good."

More than 200,000 in Kansas City are uninsured.  Shirley Wright is going to give signing up another try.

"Because it's better than not having any," she said.

She's hoping to be one fewer in that statistic.

Anyone who wants help signing up for the health insurance marketplace you can stop by the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center located at 825 Euclid Avenue any time of the week before the March 31 deadline.

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