The Obama administration is providing a grace period for those who are in the middle of signing up for health care through the marketplace.
As of March 1, only about 4 million people have officially signed up. But with less than a week left to apply, many people are in the midst of filling out information. In an effort to give them a chance to finish their application, the Obama administration is giving them a small grace period.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as of March 1, more than 56,000 people in Wisconsin have enrolled in health care.
"We saw over 150 people during that one week event,” said Lindsey Schwarz-Nichols.
With a pressing deadline about five days out, people are scrambling to get signed up.
“We had an open enrollment last week and they were way more last week then there were at any other open enrollment I have been at,” said Abby Brush, a certified application counselor with La Crosse Human Services.
“By far we saw the most people last week. Not only for application assistance but to come and get their questions answers so they knew they were getting accurate information from people who have been working with this for the past six to eight months,” said Schwarz-Nichols.
In order to accommodate all those last-minute sign ups, the Obama administration is giving those in the middle of signing up until Mid-April.
All you have to do is simply indicate that you were in the process of signing up but were unable to complete the process before the March 31 deadline. In return, the Obama administration is asking for your honesty.
“From what we have seen, they are not going to go ahead and ask you to verify that you have applied or they are not going to go back and look at the individual applications,” said Schwarz-Nichols.
Plus, with past technical problems on healthcare.gov, the administration is hoping this last-minute extension will prevent a traffic jam online.
“They really do help. There are people out there who have applied and with the website issues in December who needed those extra two days. It was at no fault of their own that their application didn't go through with the website issues,” said Schwarz-Nichols.
But no matter how many extensions the Obama administration decides to issue, officials at La Crosse Human Services say they will continue to help until the final deadline.
Schwarz-Nichols encourages anyone who is still looking for help to call 608-784-help to set up an appointment with a certified counselor at La Crosse Human Services. If you set up an appointment, remember to bring your social security numbers, employer and income information for every member of your household who needs coverage and policy numbers for current health insurance plans covering members of your household.
If you don't purchase health care insurance by the end of the month, you are going to have to wait until open enrollment begins for coverage in 2015.