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Crowds seek help to enroll for insurance through exchange

Reported by: Sandra Gonzalez
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Updated: 4/10/2014 2:55 pm

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- The deadline pressure is on for Nevadans who are going through the exchange to sign up for health insurance.

While it has been slow since October, the enrollment is starting to rise as Monday creeps up. That is when people would need to be enrolled to have insurance by January.

People keep showing up in need of health insurance at the Ramirez Group, a Silver State Health Insurance Exchange Navigator site. People are reaching out for help there in downtown Las Vegas.

At Consumer Assistance & Resource Enterprise, also known as C.A.R.E., enroller assisters are also feeling the crunch from the demand.

Annamaria Paradi sought them out for help. She says she has been uninsured for five years and can't wait for January.

"I think I'm going to go to every doctor and visit everybody, and check up myself for sure, after so many years not having insurance," Paradi said.

The rush of people trying to enrol by Monday to have insurance by January, through the exchange, keeps rising.

At the Ramirez Group, people keep arriving.

"Our volume has more than tripled in the past couple of weeks. It's continuing to grow by the day," said President of the Ramirez Group, Andres Ramirez.

In fact he says he's increased staff, phone lines and even leased property next door to keep up with the demand.

"It's a problem, but it's a good problem to have, so many interested in wanting to enroll," Ramirez said.

Navigators say much of it is deadline driven, but also people people waited until now because they heard the website wasn't working right.

Since last week, the number of people enrolled doubled to beyond 3,000.

Enroller Assister Andres Gonzalez of C.A.R.E. says he expects the numbers to keep spiking.

"Even if you're not able to enroll now, you will be able to enroll tonight, so all those numbers are gorwing slowly. So Monday I'm sure a lot of the population of Nevada will be having insurance for sure," Gonzalez said.

The countdown is on for those who want to make Monday's deadline to be insured by January.

Hours have been extended this week at navigator sites through 8 o'clock at night. Some will remain open throughout the weekend.



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