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Deadlines are Approaching for Affordable Care Act Signup

People are still able to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and a deadline for coverage is fast approaching. (healthcare.gov)
People are still able to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and a deadline for coverage is fast approaching. (healthcare.gov)
January 9, 2017

YANKTON, S.D. -- Republicans in Congress are going all-out to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But it hasn't happened yet, and coverage is still available - but enrollment deadlines are coming up fast.

People interested in signing up for health insurance that starts March 1 have to hurry, the sign-up deadline is January 15. And Jennifer Grassrope, an insurance navigator with South Dakota's Rural Office of Community Services in Lake Andes, said the final deadline to apply for coverage is at the end of this month.

"The very last day of open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act will be on January 31,” Grassrope said.

You can sign up online through healthcare.gov, and the Rural Office of Community Services is available to answer questions or help with problems.

Despite the threat of an ACA repeal from Congress, Grassrope said they are seeing more people sign up.

"Business is as usual,” she said. “In fact, we've actually been signing up more people this open enrollment than we have ever in the past. So, I don't think that's really affecting anyone signing up through the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace at this point."

South Dakota's insurance marketplace now offers policies from only two providers: Avera Health and Sanford. Grassrope said in spite of that, people have been able to find the coverage they need.

"People are finding that there's a plan that fits their needs whether they are a single person, or you know, a family with children,” Grassrope said. "Or if they're older, getting ready to retire or get closer to the Medicare age, we're finding out that people are finding a plan that fits their needs."

At the end of enrollment last year, just over 25,000 people were getting coverage through the ACA insurance marketplace in South Dakota.

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD