Mid-Missourians sign up for healthcare before deadline

Application Counselor Rita Ivy assists a client at signing up for government healthcare coverage in Columbia.

Mid-Missourians flocked to registration events to sign up for Affordable Care Act coverage before the April 1st deadline.

At the Daniel Boone Library in Columbia, Matt Slavit said signing up for coverage was a snap.

"It was a lot quicker and a lot easier than I thought," Slavit said. "I thought there was going to be a lot more questions that you'd have to fill out. It was pretty simple and straightforward."

With the deadline to sign up just a few hours away, application counselor Rita Ivy said even though some may find it easy, others still have questions.

"A lot of people need clarification on the plans and what they cover, what hospitals they work with, what doctors they work with, things like that," Ivy said. "A lot of people want clarification on their eligibility."

Even though signing up can be done anywhere by visiting the website, mid-Missourians who don't understand the process or want help can enroll in person at the Daniel Boone library.

Ivy said the most important thing to remember is to sign up before the deadline hits.

"Get started, get on the website, get on the call center," Ivy said. "Make sure you get your foot in the door today, because after that you will not be able to enroll."

Ivy said the next enrollment period will be in November.

However, Debra Froebel of Capital Region Medical Center said there are consequences if you are eligible and fail to sign up.

"Anytime you file taxes from this point on in 2015, if you haven't been signed up and qualified for it then you will be in a penalty phase," Froebel said.

Froebel said the penalty for individuals is $95.00 per person, or one percent of salary, whichever is higher.