Monday is deadline to enroll under Affordable Care Act


by KING 5 News, Breanna Roy, &

Posted on March 31, 2014 at 7:04 AM

Updated Monday, Mar 31 at 1:44 PM

SPOKANE – The past two weeks, Spokane Valley call center staff have been taking several thousand more calls daily as the deadline approached, reports the Washington Heatlh Benefit Exchange.

Despite several warnings from the Washington Health Benefit Exchange for residents to not wait until the last minute, staff are expecting plenty of phone calls on March 31, the final day to enroll.

In Washington, the state set up Washington Healthplanfinder to help guide people through this process. The website is up and running, but that wasn't the case earlier Monday. The website was shut down overnight for several hours for scheduled maintenance.

With Monday's deadline, the state is preparing for the last-minute rush of people trying to enroll for coverage. Earlier this month, the state said there were 600 customer service representatives manning call centers for those with questions.

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The latest numbers show 125,000 people have registered for coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder.

The penalty for those who don't sign up and go without health insurance is $95 or one percent of their income, whichever is higher.

According to Washington Healthplanfinder, people must complete the entire enrollment process and submit payment by 11:59 p.m. Monday.

If there is a technical issue with the website and people are unable to to complete this process, the state will take a look at this on case-by-case basis.

If people miss the deadline, their next chance to enroll is November 15. Washingtonians who qualify for Medicaid can enroll at any time.