RALEIGH: Deadline nears for Obamacare signup - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Hundreds seek help with Obamacare signup at Raleigh event

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A client works with navigator to sign up for the Affordable Care Act. A client works with navigator to sign up for the Affordable Care Act.

Monday night is the enrollment deadline for the Affordable Care Act, and the White House is pushing to get as many people covered as possible.

In Wake County, there's been a surge of folks trying to sign up at local events like one held Sunday afternoon at Rock Quarry Family Medicine's offices in Raleigh.

"This is the sixth event we've put on in Wake County this week, and at each and every site we have this kind of demand," claimed Arron White with Enroll America.

White said even before the doors opened at noon Sunday, there was a line stretched around the corner of the building and into the parking lot.

Pamela McCullers was one of the hundreds who showed up looking for help.

"I did the application online and got an application number, but something went wrong and it gave me an error at the end," McCullers said. "Then I got an email saying I should come in here today and actually talk to somebody.”

Deidre King waited until the last minute because news reports of issues with the website scared her off at first.

"When I heard they had problems, I just waited until I could come for an appointment and be seen face to face with someone," she explained.

Jennifer Simmons was one of the navigators at today's event, and she said some sign-ups were quicker than others.

"It can vary anywhere from 30 minutes to sometimes as long as two hours to enroll someone in a plan because you want the consumer to have a plan that actually works for them," Simmons said.

Nationally, more than 6 million have signed up for the Affordable Care Act, but experts say that's just a quarter of those eligible who've enrolled because even with subsidies some folks still can't afford it.

"A family of four making $59,000 a year still has to pay $5,000 a year net of subsidies," said Robert Laszewski, who is the president Health Policy and Strategy Associates. "How many people making that kind of money have that much money in their checking account?"

For those waiting to sign up Sunday, it was more a worry over beating the signup deadline than the cost.

"This is our last day to do our insurance," said Randy Martinez, who was signing up with his mom and dad.

Although the deadline is midnight, there is a grace period and it can be extended if you're in the process of enrolling.

So far, more than 200,000 people have signed up for Obamacare in North Carolina.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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