Caresse Jackman

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Video: Health Care Exchange Deadline Approaching

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- Shauntay Hinton ran into several glitches while trying to get healthcare coverage, but after President Obama’s push for revamping the site, it was smooth sailing.

“Once I signed up, it took about, give or take 45 minutes total. Which is not bad compared to when Obamacare first started it was taking about 5 hours out of my life that I would never get back,” said Hinton.

Now she’s waiting on her coverage to kick in next month.

“You will be provided a card, you will be provided an ID number, all the things that you would get if you were signing up for another insurer you would get through your healthcare.gov provider,” said Hinton.

Time is running out for those who don’t have coverage. Recipients have until March 31st to sign up.

“If you’re not covered on your job and you’re just uninsured the health insurance marketplace is for you and you definitely should look into the marketplace to see your options and what tax credits and subsidies are available for you to lower your monthly cost because if you meet in that criteria and that range you may qualify for a tax credit or subsidy worth looking into and getting enrolled,” said LaTeshia Butler, Regional Program Manager at Health Help Mississippi.

But for business owners, the Affordable Health Care Law is nothing short of a headache.

” What is complicated is figuring out how we’re going to handle the costs of the coverage for the employees. And also how much the employees are going to share in. So we’ve had to take a look at our business model and decided how many employees at each location we’re going to allow to become what are called full-time equivalence. There are a lot of folks who are working 30 to 40 hours a week right now and if you’re a business that’s going to have to offer insurance you’re probably seeing that your hours are being cut, to take you down below that 30 hour level, so that insurance will not have to be offered. We see a lot of people having to get a second job,” said John Bean, President of Eatwithus Group.

Supporters of the law say even if you’re concerned about the coverage, still look into it before it’s too late.

” It’s so crucial to meet that March 31st deadline, so that you would not be penalized. For those who are uninsured, if you do not meet that deadline, you will face a penalty,” said Butler.

Wednesday, March 19th, Health Help Mississippi will be at the Trotter Convention Center helping people to sign up from 3:00pm to 6pm. They’ll also answer any questions you have about the Health Care Exchange.