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Kansas Residents Rush to Meet Health Care Deadline

Associated Press - March 31, 2014 10:36 am

Counselors are expecting a crush of late-hour requests for help from Kansas consumers seeking to navigate the federal government’s online health insurance marketplace.

The consumers are trying to beat Monday’s midnight deadline for applying for health coverage. The 2010 federal law overhauling health care requires most Americans to have coverage or pay a tax penalty.

Health Care navigator Paige Ashley of the Shawnee County Health Department in Topeka said its eight counselors have helped several hundred people in the past few days. Navigators were at the Topeka’s public library to handle appointments Monday.

But people who didn’t already have appointments were being directed to the federal government website.

The federal government expected 53,000 Kansans to enroll in health plans through the marketplace. By March 1, about 29,000 had.

City of Salina