Time ticking on open enrollment for health coverage through ACA

Open enrollment for health coverage through ACA closes for 2014

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Open enrollment for 2014 closed at midnight Monday. Application counselors with the Palmetto Project worked over the weekend and into the evening hours Monday to help people sign-up under the Affordable Care Act.

Fifty-year-old Evelina Hogan has been in a tough spot since she lost her job and health insurance nearly a year ago.

"That was very scary, very scary because it's like where do I go? It makes it very difficult for me to try and go to a hospital."

She was one of the many who came by to make the midnight cut-off. Monday's deadline guaranteed insurance for this year. Shelli Quenga with the Palmetto Project says for coverage in 2014, a person had to at least begin the enrollment process.

"If you made an attempt to enroll, but you've been thwarted by a technical glitch or you can't get into the system right now, as long as you're making that attempt by tonight at midnight, then you'd still be able to enroll even this week or next week."

Quegna says the next open enrollment period will be from November 15th to February 15th. She says that is for next year.

"Every year we'll need to go through open enrollment just like we do with our employer-sponsored plans because we could have new carriers, new plans."

Hogan admits she took her health insurance for granted. Now she's grateful she has some options.

"It's great for me to know that I can come here to get some type of help. It's very important because I'm really concerned about my health. I rather have something than not have anything."

If you are eligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, but choose not to enroll this year, the penalty is $95 per adult or 1 percent of your income. The Internal Revenue Service will monitor the penalties.