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ACA clock ticking fast

AHOSKIE – Did you miss the Feb. 15 deadline to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act?

If so, there is a proverbial “lifejacket” at your disposal.

Legal Aid of North Carolina’s health care navigators can still help many uninsured or underinsured residents of Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Northampton, Pasquotank and Perquimans counties get quality, affordable health coverage during special enrollment periods.

The residents of those counties, subject to a fine on their 2014 taxes for not having health insurance, might still be eligible to enroll in an affordable plan during a special enrollment period that runs through April 30. To be eligible, consumers must confirm that they are subject to the fine and were previously unaware of it.

Legal Aid of North Carolina’s health care navigators are available for one-on-one meetings with residents in the aforementioned counties to help them avoid the fine by enrolling in an affordable health insurance plan.

“We want all residents of Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Northampton, Pasquotank and Perquimans counties subject to the fine to know that we have navigators in their area who can help them,” said Brenda Robinson-Cannie, Legal Aid of North Carolina-Ahoskie Office’s ACA Navigator. “They can still get quality, affordable health coverage now. We are encouraging them to check out their options before the April 30 deadline. Time is running out!”

Residents of Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Northampton, Pasquotank and Perquimans counties may also qualify for a special enrollment period if they experienced a qualifying life event, such as losing coverage, getting married, having a baby, moving to a different coverage area and becoming a citizen, among others.

Consumers who enroll in health coverage during a special enrollment period are eligible to receive financial assistance to lower their premiums. During the last enrollment period, 92 percent of North Carolinians who renewed plans or signed up through the Marketplace received financial assistance to help make their plans truly affordable.

Residents of Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Northampton, Pasquotank and Perquimans counties who think they might be eligible to enroll during a special enrollment period can schedule appointments with health care navigators by calling toll-free 1-855-733-3711 or visiting the Get Covered Connector, at connector.getcoveredamerica.org. To find out if they have experienced a qualifying life event, they can visit the HHS screener and answer a few questions.