Hundreds seek help weeks before healthcare deadline

Hundreds seek help weeks before healthcare deadline

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The City of Charleston, along with state non-profit group, The Palmetto Project, teamed up to provide answers to hundreds in search of affordable healthcare.

Trained navigators were available to walk through insurance plans at Charleston's Maritime Center.  Organizers say they fielded hundreds of calls throughout the week, also filling their appointment book before doors ever opened.

"People are starting to feel the urgency of the deadline," said Joleen Deams, Assistant CFO for the City of Charleston.

March 31st marks the final day to sign up for healthcare insurance under the Affordable Care Act.  In the absence of a life change like marriage or birth, many could be locked out of coverage for the next calendar year.

"Please don't wait until the last minute," urged Palmetto Project Director Shelli Quenga.

"Sometimes making decisions that are right for your family takes a little bit of time," she said.

The Charleston event was part of a national "Day of Action," a call from the Obama administration to help residents on the local level sign up for healthcare insurance.

"Not everybody will be eligible for marketplace coverage unfortunately, but we want to make sure they know what their resources are," said Quenga.

For more information, visit or call 1-800-318-2596.

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