U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell says Alabamians needing health insurance coverage must still sign up for Affordable Care Act by Monday, March 31 deadline
Birmingham, AL—Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell today reminded Alabamians that those needing health insurance must still apply by Monday, March 31 for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
President Obama announced Wednesday that he is extending the health care exchange deadline for those who start the process by March 31. In order to avoid problems similar to those that were faced in December when people trying to enroll by Jan. 1, 2014 overwhelmed the HealthCare.gov website, federal officials say they are loosening the deadline only for those with “complex or extenuating” circumstances that keep them from being fully enrolled by March 31.
Sewell in a statement urged Alabamians needing health insurance to start the process of enrolling to ensure coverage. “Open enrollment still ends on March 31,” Sewell said. “I encourage Alabamians to enroll as soon as possible by visiting www.healthcare.gov, by calling 1-800-318-2596 to speak with a patient navigator, or by visiting a community health center in person.”
By March 31, most Americans will be required to have health insurance or risk paying a penalty of $95 or 1% of personal income, whichever is greater. Federal officials expect a surge in last-minute enrollees, and while they don’t anticipate the website to break down this time, their goal is to avoid penalizing those who need extra time. The Obama administration says 42 million Americans are uninsured. By March 1, 2014, about 5.2 million people had enrolled in the ACA healthcare exchanges.
Sewell, seeking a third term representing District 7, has joined President Obama and Democratic lawmakers in fighting Republicans in Congress who are seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Her office has held five workshops in the district as well as a telephone town hall that helped over 14,000 constituents get enrollment information on the new healthcare exchanges. Since passage of the Affordable Care Act, Sewell says nearly 30,000 children in the 7th Congressional District now have health insurance and seniors in Alabama saved over $132 million in prescription costs in 2013 alone.
Sewell has also been an advocate for Medicaid expansion in the state of Alabama. With the Affordable Care Act, states have the option to expand their Medicaid coverage to all adults with incomes below 133% of the poverty level, she said.
For more information on Sewell’s re-election campaign, go to www.sewellforcongress.com.