Mar 27, 2014 11:00 PM by Maddie Garrett
The deadline to sign up for health insurance is just days away, if you don't have it by March 31, 2014, you'll probably have to pay a fine. Even though the federal government extended the deadline for its marketplace into April, Connect for Health Colorado is not extending its deadline to sign up for insurance.
At Peak Vista's enrollment services center, it's crunch time as the deadline approaches.
"We're expecting Saturday's going to be more of a rush," said Director of Client Services, Susan Gomez.
Peak Vista helps people get health insurance by walking them through the process, helping them apply and giving advice on how to get services. But they don't tell people what to purchase. They'll be open on Saturday to help people who might be looking for health coverage.
"We do anticipate the probability of more people waiting last minute, deciding they want to buy a product versus the penalty," said Gomez.
That penalty is one percent of your income or $95 if you make $19,650 or less a year.
"We do have people that are opting to take the penalty," added Gomez.
Gomez explained that while some people are finding cheaper insurance on the exchange, others would rather take the penalty because they don't think the insurance plans are worth it, especially people who did not have insurance before.
"They still feel that they can't afford it," said Gomez. "It's easier to opt out than to venture in."
But if you're still on the fence about getting health insurance, time is running out. Unlike the federal government's health insurance exchange, Colorado did not extend it's deadline.
"Colorado has it's own marketplace so we are still going forward with our March 31st deadline," said Brenda LaComb with Connect for Health Colorado.
If you opt out now, you'll have to wait until next fall to shop on the state's insurance exchange again, unless you suddenly lose coverage through a life changing event. Open enrollment on Connect for Health Colorado will run from November 15, 2014, to February 15, 2015.
"That's why the (March) 31st is such a big deal," said Gomez.
You can still get self-insured before then, but there won't be subsidies and income based plans that are accessible on the State's insurance exchange.
"We've had a lot of people who have been self insured and came in and bought a product just because it was so much less expensive," said Gomez.
Bottom lines said Gomez, if you haven't looked into getting insurance on the exchange yet, now is the time to call or go in and talk to someone in person about it.
Peak Vista is holding extended hours, and you can go to their enrollment services center for help, located at 2828 International Circle. Peak Vista recommends calling and making an appointment, at (719) 632-5700.
For more information on Peak Vista, visit their enrollment site at: http://www.peakvista.org/patients/affordable-care-act-20131008144727
Connect for Health Colorado is holding enrollment events this weekend as well, with one in Pueblo on Saturday, March 29, 2014, from 11:00am to 4:00pm at the Pueblo Convention Center, 320 Central Main St.
You can also call the Connect for Health Colorado customer service line or visit another walk-in location in the Denver area. Connect for Health Colorado's customer service line is: 855-752-6749. It will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday; and 7 a.m. to midnight Monday.
For more information on enrollment help from Connect for Health CO click here: http://connectforhealthco.com/how-it-works/enrollment-updates/