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South Floridians Get Assistance With Healthcare Options

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(AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr)

(AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr)

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Healthwatch

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The deadline for Americans to sign up on healthcare.gov was extended Monday.  The website’s botched roll out caused a backlog and ultimately forced the Obama administration to move back the signup dates.  At Mall of the Americas people were signing up for coverage Monday.

“Well they want to know how much they’ll have to pay, if they qualify and pretty much what insurance covers,” said Odalys Arevalo, a Community Outreach Director.

Dozens of people took time away from their holiday shopping stand in line, and speak with healthcare navigators about their options.  Handfuls of people huddled around small tables and informed advisors to make their decisions.

“Just before Christmas, I wanted to have the opportunity to have insurance because I don’t have insurance at all and I just went two months ago to the hospital and I have a really big bill,” said Alfredo Pozo.

Monday’s deadline to sign up for insurance coverage was pushed back to Tuesday because government officials feared heavy traffic on healthcare.gov could lead to delays in completing applications.

Pozo added, “This is my second time trying this is my second time I did it yesterday and today I just came to see if the system got refreshed because I had problems with my social security.”

Arevalo added, “The system has been doing pretty well much better than expected sometimes it puts on hold for 3 or 4 minutes, but it’s doing very very well.”

Navigators were also on hand to help figure out what if any subsidies people are eligible for. Navigators say if you make a lot of money, you get a little help.  If you make a little money you get a lot of help.

“We’ve had a lot of people leave with very big smiles on their faces some of them with 0 premium others I just had a lady that left she makes about $13,400 a year.  She’s gonna pay $21/month for a full insurance policy,” Arevalo said.

Deadline to register and have insurance next year is Tuesday.  If you enroll after Christmas your start date will vary.  If you want to avoid tax penalties for not having insurance you need to enroll by March 31st.  The clinic at Mall of the Americas runs until 10 p.m. Monday night.  There are also clinics at Westland and Broward malls.

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