Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Health Advocates Make Enrollment Push Ahead of Monday's Deadline; Health Care

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Health Advocates Make Enrollment Push Ahead of Monday's Deadline; Health Care

Article excerpt

Health insurance advocates made a push this weekend to get consumers to visit HealthCare.gov as the deadline nears for residents to enroll in coverage that starts in January.

Monday marks the first key deadline of the second insurance enrollment season under President Barack Obama's health overhaul. New customers must select a health plan by then for their insurance coverage to begin Jan. 1.

As part of the effort to meet that deadline, organizations in Missouri and Illinois were conducting dozens of events this weekend to boost awareness and provide assistance with the application process for the online insurance marketplace.

One of those events was hosted Saturday by the Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts, a St. Louis advocacy group. The group had two application counselors available to provide area artists with one-on-one help with enrollment.

Fred Requadt, 26, said he stopped by with the hope of being able to sign up for an affordable plan. He hasn't had health insurance for years and wanted to see if he could get coverage for an affordable price.

"I don't have insurance not because I think I'm invincible," he said. "But truth be told, the monetary aspect has always been an issue. Hopefully I can get something worked out."

Jen Cline and her husband, Casey Kasparek, also attended. Cline has insurance through her job as a teacher, but the high cost of coverage prevented her from adding Kasparek to her plan.

Kasparek was looking for options but didn't find an affordable plan on HealthCare.gov. The couple said their incomes are too high to qualify for subsidies that help defray the cost, and their student loan payments make it hard to pay the full price of a health plan.

Still, they said they were grateful for the opportunity to sit down with a counselor to review choices and solve some technical problems with creating their HealthCare. …

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