Local Business Struggles with Affordable Care Act Sign Up

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JACKSON, Tenn. — As the deadline to sign up for Obamacare quickly approaches, like most Americans, some West Tennesseans are having problems getting through the website. Monday is the last day to begin the application process to sign up for the Affordable Care Act. Tamika Bonds, office manager at Cole’s Details Service, says for nearly an hour she struggled to sign up her new employee for health care coverage. The company is required by law to cover all employees. Bonds says the website is jammed just hours before the midnight deadline. “If he’s not fully and properly insured, his hours will be cut more than by 50 percent because it’s certain jobs he would not be allowed to go on,” Bond said. Monday, medical experts at East Jackson Family Medical Center say they helped 22 people that wanted to sign up. For uninsured Americans the fee for not enrolling is one percent of your income or $95 per person for the year. But there are exemptions to the deadline, one of them being if you already have insurance. “A child born, you’re divorced, or things like that going on you can make like changes then that’s another way,” Marilyn Nathaniel said, a social worker for East Jackson Family Medical Center. According to the HealthCare.gov website, applicants are directed to leave an email address for a representative to get back to you; and as long as you create an account on the website before midnight, experts say you won’t face a fine. “If you already have an application in process, the deadline for today would give you an extension for two more weeks,” Nathaniel said. But for the new employee at Cole’s, midnight is just way too close. “Not being able to get him insured, you know is nothing more that we could do because we should’ve had access for our employees to be covered,” Bond said. The next open enrollment for Obamacare is in October. Experts say if the applicant feels like an insurance quote is too expensive, a representative can file an appeal. For those who don’t meet the minimum income requirements they can apply for TennCare.

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